Overturning the Racial Integrity Act
From the Records of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1772 - 2007
In June 1958, Richard Loving, a white man, and Mildred Jeter, a black woman, quietly married in Washington, DC. They returned home to Virginia and woke up one morning with policemen in their bedroom. The Lovings were arrested for violating the Racial Integrity Act of 1924.
Richard and Mildred were found guilty and sentenced to one year in jail, or they could accept a plea bargain and leave Virginia. So they left. But by 1963, they sought legal help and the case was eventually sent to the United States Supreme Court.
Dated June 12, 1967, and initialed by Chief Justice of the United States Earl Warren, this page confirms the decision the justices reached—they voted unanimously in favor of the Lovings. The Supreme Court justices ruled Virginia’s law violated the equal protection clause in the 14th amendment.
The Supreme Court’s Decision is among the featured items at the “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures" exhibit now on display at the National Archives Museum.