On this day in 1967, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision on the case Loving v. Virginia. The case was brought by Mildred and Richard Loving, a mixed black and Native woman and a white man who had been sentenced to a year in prison each for getting married, under Virginia’s anti-interracial marriage laws.
Police raided their home in the middle of the night, hoping to discover them having sex, which would confer an additional criminal charge. When the Lovings pointed out their marriage license (issued in Washington DC, where the marriage was legal), it was used in court as evidence against them, as marriage between a person considered white and a person considered non-white was at this time a felony.
They plead guilty and were told that their sentence would be suspended (not carried out) if they left the state. They did so, moving to DC, but faced so much trouble trying to visit relatives in Virginia (as they could not live or travel together there, under threat of a year in prison) that they appealed the ruling.
The court decided in favor of the Lovings, declaring laws against interracial marriage to be unconstitutional. This case was a landmark Civil Rights victory, and it happened only 46 years ago.