June 12 is Loving Day, commemorating the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the landmark case Loving v. Virginia, which held that laws against interracial marriage were in violation of the Equal Protection clause of the 14th amendment.

Mildred (Jeter) and Richard Loving were raised in the same small community, Central Point, in Caroline County, VA. In 1958, the couple travelled to Washington, DC in order to get married. They returned home, and in 1959 were arrested and charged with violating Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law. The couple was sentenced to one year in jail, which was suspended under the condition that they leave the state. In order to return to their home and families, the ACLU filed suit on their behalf, which eventually made its way to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Mildred and Richard Loving seated on a couch with Richard’s father (from left), ca. March 1966. Rowland Scherman Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Reynolds Library holds several books in the collection about the case and the family at its center. If you’d like to read further, here are some suggestions from our collection:

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