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In order to evade Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act, the pair had traveled to Washington, D. In 1963, they approached the American Civil Liberties Union to fight their case in court.
After an extensive legal battle, the Supreme Court ruled that laws prohibiting interracial marriage were unconstitutional in June of 1967.
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But first they had to overcome the wave of bigotry brought about by their controversial marriage.
When they announced the news in 1948, Ruth’s father threw her out of the house, while Seretse’s uncle declared “if he brings his white wife here, I will fight him to the death.” Bowing to pressure from apartheid South Africa, the British government attempted to stop the marriage and then prevented the couple from returning to Botswana.
For eight years they lived as exiles in England, until the Bamangwato sent a personal cable to the Queen in protest.
As a survivor of a shipwreck off the Yucatan coast, Gonzalo Guerrero found himself held captive by the Maya.
A year later, Marie-Claude died giving birth to their first child and Huang, heartbroken, followed her a year later.
Historians have speculated that their unusual marriage was one of the first of its kind.
At that time, 24 states across the country had laws strictly prohibiting marriage between people of different races.
Five weeks earlier, the longtime couple had learned Mildred was pregnant and decided to wed in defiance of the law. Upon their return to Virginia, they were arrested and found guilty, with the judge informing Mildred that “as long as you live you will be known as a felon.” The Lovings moved to the relative safety of Washington, but longed to return to their home state.