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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.In France, he soon joined with a number of promising young French scholars to develop a Chinese-French dictionary.
Nevertheless, Marie-Claude’s parents reportedly gave their blessing for the union, and while the couple soon found themselves in financial difficulties, the marriage seems to have been a happy one.
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.
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.Desperate to avoid being killed, he successfully sought to learn his captors’ language and customs.