Virginia Virginia History: The Lovings: A Couple That Changed History

TheLovingsMildred and Richard Loving never set out to have their marriage become the subject of one of the most famous civil rights cases of the last century. But it was their deep affection for one another and sheer determination that the heart won out over hate that led them to the Supreme Court, where the ACLU represented them in a landmark case that struck down state bans on interracial marriage.

Now, this saga of a 17-year-old Black woman who wanted nothing else than to marry her white 23-year-old childhood sweetheart will be recounted in The Loving Story, a documentary that will be shown, appropriately, on Valentine’s Day, at 9 p.m. ET.

Click on the picture below to view the trailer:

“This is a love story,” said director Nancy Buirski. “And it’s a story about people who were told they couldn’t love who they wanted to love.”

After the Lovings married in Washington, D.C. in 1958, they returned to their home state of Virginia, where soon after they were rousted out of bed and arrested for violating the state’s anti-miscegenation law. A state judge sentenced them to a year in jail, but suspended the sentence if they would leave the state for 25 years.

The Lovings left to live in Washington, but were arrested again five years later for traveling together, when they returned to Virginia to visit relatives. After the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the couple wrote to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy for help. They asked if the landmark law would allow them to be in the same car together. Kennedy referred them to the National Capitol Area office of the ACLU, which took on their case.

Volunteer attorneys Philip Hirschkop and Bernard Cohen represented the couple in losing appeals on the newest charges in district and appellate courts. "It was a terrible time in America," Cohen told The Washington Post in 2008. "Racism was ripe and this was the last de jure vestige of racism — there was a lot of de facto racism, but this law was...the last on-the-books manifestation of slavery in America."

Loving v. Virginia, went to the Supreme Court, where in 1967 the justices struck down Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage.

Richard Loving died in a car crash in 1975. Mildred Loving died of pneumonia in 2008.

The documentary features rare home movies of the Lovings and their three children as well as never-before-seen outtakes from a photo shoot given to the couple by a Life magazine photographer. Also heard are excerpts from the oral arguments at the Supreme Court.

“Anybody can change history,” Buirski said. “These were humble people, modest in every respect, who wanted to come home to live with their family in Virginia.”

Link to original ACLU Blog Post

Top Photo: Grey Villet, [Richard Loving kissing wife Mildred as he arrives home from work, King and Queen County, Virginia], April 1965. © Estate of Grey Villet. From an exhibit of 20 photographs of the Loving family currently on display at the International Center of Photography in New York City (1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street) through May 6, 2012. See more pictures from this exhibit >>


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Delegate opposes Mayor Jones for DPVA chair less he backs same-sex marriage

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Charniele Herring joins field for Rep. Moran’s seat, will step down as chair of Va. Democr…

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Va. Attorney General Mark Herring files brief opposing same-sex marriage ban

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Gov. McAuliffe emphasizes ‘progress over ideology’ at inauguration

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Dave Sherfinski | The Washington Times 12 Jan 2014 Hits:241 Virginia

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Ben Pershing | The Washington Post 17 Dec 2013 Hits:315 Virginia

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Herring wins Virginia attorney general race, elections board announces

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Laura Vozzella | The Washington Post 25 Nov 2013 Hits:780 Virginia

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Republicans Just Changed The Rules AFTER A Virginia Election To Change The Outcome

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Already shaping up to be one of the closest races in state history, a last-minute rule change is stirring up the recount to decide who will become Virginia's next attorney general. The Daily Press of Newport News, Va. reported Friday that Republican candidate Mark Obenshain had an unofficial lead of just under 1,300 votes over Democratic challenger Mark Herring. That tally did not include full provisional ballot totals, and as of Saturday, a fresh rule change was complicating matters. (photo: The two major party candidates for Virginia Attorney General - Democrat Mark Herring,...

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Libertarian gets some traction in governor’s race

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Rigell becomes point man for congressional authorization

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Richmond marchers commemorate historic protest

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Jeff Schapiro | The Richmond Times Dispatch 02 Sep 2013 Hits:521 Virginia

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Attorneys for McDonnells to meet with prosecutors as key phase opens in gifts probe

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Rosalind S. Helderman and Carol D. Leonnig, | The Washington Post 19 Aug 2013 Hits:555 Virginia

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Cuccinelli announces education proposals

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Richard Nolan | Richmond Times Dispatch 15 Aug 2013 Hits:601 Virginia

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Bolling proposes ethics reform package

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Robert Gibbs on Bob McDonnell: Virginia needs ‘caretaker’

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Former Obama adviser Robert Gibbs suggested on Monday that Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell should step aside in favor of a “caretaker” governor until the election. “I think at some point, you begin to really and truly ask the question, that is it time for Gov. McDonnell to step aside, honestly? We’ve had this drip, drip, drip of embarrassing allegations. And I say embarrassing, I don’t know if $120,000 in unreported loans, that should be probably worth larger than embarrassment on this,” Gibbs said Monday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “We have an election...

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Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell finally apologizes

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Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Wants to Outlaw Oral Sex—Yup, That Includes Between Marri…

In an unusual move, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R), his party’s nominee for governor, launched a  new campaign website Wednesday highlighting his  efforts to reinstate Virginia’s unconstitutional Crimes Against Nature law. The rule, which makes felons out of even consenting married couples who engage in oral or anal sex in the privacy of their own homes, was  struck down by federal courts after Cuccinelli blocked efforts to bring it in line with the Supreme Court’s 2003  Lawrence v. Texas ruling. The new site,  vachildpredators.com, highlights 90 people identified “sexual predators” in Virginia who...

Josh Israel | ThinkProgress 21 Jul 2013 Hits:496 Virginia

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Some burglaries classified violent in rights restoration

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Olympia Meola | Richmond Times Dispatch 16 Jul 2013 Hits:430 Virginia

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Kaine joins efforts to repeal ban on prescription price negotiation

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine today signed onto the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act – legislation that would end the ban on prescription drug price negotiations for the government’s largest health care program. “Every corner pharmacy negotiates for prescription drug prices so it makes no sense that the federal government isn’t allowed to do the same,” said Kaine. “At a time when we continue to look at every line item of the budget for savings, this common sense measure should be adopted to make Medicare more efficient and low-cost without compromising...

Valerie Garner | Roanoke Free Press 17 Jun 2013 Hits:1546 Virginia

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Cuccinelli calls for expediting rights restorations

Cuccinelli calls for expediting rights restorations

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli today released a report presenting legal alternatives to the current system of restoring the civil rights of nonviolent felons.   The report, compiled by a bipartisan commission of lawyers convened by the attorney general in March, suggests the General Assembly could establish and fund a "permanent function" under the governor's office, dedicated to rights applications.   It also says the governor could "exercise his discretionary clemency power in a more expansive manner" to streamline the process and make it easier for felons who have paid their debt to society to enjoy its rights...

Jim Nolan | Richmond Times Dispatch 28 May 2013 Hits:1761 Virginia

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Virginia GOP Nominee For Attorney General Would Force Women To Report Their Miscarriages T…

Virginia GOP Nominee For Attorney General Would Force Women To Report Their Miscarriages To Police -- Or Face 1 Year in Jail

If a woman in Virginia has a miscarriage without a doctor present, they must report it within 24 hours to the police or risk going to jail for a full year. At least, that’s what would have happened if a  bill introduced by Virginia state Sen. Mark Obenshain (R) had become law. And yet, the Virginia Republican Party wants to make Obenshain into the state’s top prosecutor. This weekend, Virginia Republicans  selected Obenshain as their nominee to replace tea party stalwart Ken Cuccinelli (R) as the state’s attorney general. Obenshain’s bill, which was introduced...

Ian Millhiser | ThinkProgress 20 May 2013 Hits:781 Virginia

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Direct from Virginia New Majority

Direct from Red Clay Politics

PDA In Your State

PDA 10th Anniversary - Join us in Northampton on May 10th

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PDA Issues

PDA is organized around several core issues. These issues include:

Each team hosts a monthly conference call. Calls feature legislators, staffers and other policy experts. On these calls we determine PDA legislation to support as well as actions and future events.

Virginia Leadership

For support in organizing within your state, contact:
     
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Email us at: virginia@pdamerica.org

Chapters

Central Virginia (CD-03 and CD-04)
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Want to bring progressive change to Virginia? Start a PDA chapter; send us an email and we'll get you started.

Virginia Political Landscape

Senators
Mark Warner (D)
Tim Kaine (D)

Congressional Districts
CD-01 Rob Wittman (R)
CD-02 Scott Ridgell (R)
CD-03 Bobby Scott (D)
CD-04 Randy Forbes (R)
CD-05 Robert Hurtt (R)
CD-06 Bob Goodlatte (R)
CD-07 Eric Cantor (R)
CD-08 Jim Moran (D)
CD-09 Morgan Griffith (R)
CD-10 Frank Wolf (R)

VA Legislators with ALEC Ties

Governor Bob McDonnell (Virginia)[10]

Board Members
Spkr. William (Bill) Howell (R-Virginia)

House of Delegates

Senate

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