Mildred & Richard Loving were arrested for breaking Virginia's law against interracial marriage.  Their landmark Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia legalized interracial marriage in the U.S. It's neat how their name was Loving and how they advocated love and marriage between the races.

Lessons to be learned from history: Mildred and Richard Loving were arrested for breaking Virginia's law against interracial marriage. Their landmark US Supreme Court case, Loving vs. Virginia, legalized interracial marriage in the US.

Just 45 years ago, 16 states deemed marriages between two people of different races illegal.    But in 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court considered the case of Richard Perry Loving, who was white, and his wife, Mildred Loving, of African American and Native American descent.    The case changed history - and was captured on film by LIFE photographer Grey Villet.

The love story that changed history: Fascinating photographs of interracial marriage at a time when it was banned in 16 states

Content: The Loving's children Peggy, Sidney and Donald play in King and Queen County, Virginia in April 1965

The love story that changed history: Fascinating photographs of interracial marriage at a time when it was banned in 16 states

Today is the 46th anniversary of ‘Loving v. Virginia,’ in which the Supreme Court ruled against bans on interracial marriage. Share this quote if you want the Supreme Court to do the right thing this month in the marriage cases:

Today is the anniversary of ‘Loving v. Virginia,’ in which the Supreme Court ruled against bans on interracial marriage. Share this quote if you want the Supreme Court to do the right thing this month in the marriage cases:

Loving biracial family back in the day. Robert and Mildred Loving , who helped change America for the better.

The Loving family. Supreme Court considered the case of Richard Perry Loving, who was white, and his wife, Mildred Loving, of African American and Native American descent. The case changed history.

Mildred and Richard Loving.  They fought their criminal convictions for entering into an interracial marriage all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.  In Loving v. Virginia, the court declared it unconstitutional for a state to limit a citizen's right to marry based on race.

1967 Loving v. Virginia - Supreme Court overruled the anti-miscegenation laws in Virginia and 15 other states. Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving were the couple at the heart of the case.

Married couple Mildred and Richard Loving answer questions at a press conference the day after the Supreme Court ruled in their favor in Loving v. Virginia. (Credit: Francis Miller/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Married couple Mildred and Richard Loving answer questions at a press conference the day after the Supreme Court ruled in their favor in Loving v. Virginia. (Credit: Francis Miller/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

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