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Sun, 10.29.1933

Richard Loving, Construction Worker born

Richard Loving

*Richard Loving was born on this date in 1933.  He was a white-American construction worker. 

Born in Central Point, Virginia, part of Caroline County.  Richard Perry Loving was the son of Lola (Allen) Loving and Twillie Loving. He. His grandfather, T. P. Farmer, fought for the Confederacy in the American Civil War. The ancestor Lewis Loving was marked in the 1830 census as owning seven slaves. As a young man, he had a passion for revved up engines and drag car racing, winning prizes, and earned a living as a laborer and construction worker.  

Caroline County adhered to strict Jim Crow segregation laws, but Central Point had been a visible mixed-race community since the 19th century. Loving's father worked for one of the wealthiest Black men in the county for 25 years.  His closest friends were Black, including those he drag-raced with and Mildred's older brothers. "There's just a few people that live in this community," Richard said. "A few white and a few colored. And as I grew up, and as they grew up, we all helped one another. It was all, as I say, mixed together to start with and just kept goin' that way."

The couple met when Mildred Jeter was 11 and Richard was 17. He first visited her home to hear the music played by her siblings, with Mildred not initially taking to Richard’s personality. Yet a friendship developed which eventually led to a romantic relationship.  When Mildred was 18, she became pregnant and Richard moved into the Jeter household.  They decided to marry in June 1958 and traveled to Washington, D.C. to do so. At the time, interracial marriage was banned in Virginia by the Racial Integrity Act of 1924. Mildred later stated that when they married, she did not realize their marriage was illegal in Virginia, but she later believed her husband had known it.  

After their marriage, the Loving’s returned home to Central Point. They were arrested at night by the county sheriff who had received an anonymous tip and charged with "cohabiting as man and wife, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth." They pled guilty and were convicted by the Caroline County Circuit Court on January 6, 1959. They were sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for 25 years on the condition that they leave the state. They moved to the District of Columbia.  

In 1964, frustrated by their inability to travel together to visit their families in Virginia, and by social isolation and financial difficulties in Washington, they filed suit to vacate the judgment against them and allow them to return home.  The Supreme court ruled in their favor Loving v. Virginia in June 1967.  On June 29, 1975, a drunk driver struck the Loving car in Caroline County, Virginia; Richard was killed in the accident, at age 41.


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