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Resources for Teaching about the 50th Anniversary of Loving v. Virginia (1967)

Loving v. Virginia (1967)

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On June 12, 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered a decision in Loving v. Virginia which stated that prohibition of marriage between people of different races was unconstitutional.  This ended all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States.  The anniversary is remembered every year as Loving Day (June 12).  The 50th anniversary of this critical civil rights ruling falls in 2017.  


General Resources

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To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the case, the Loving Project documents the experiences of mixed race marriages.

The National Council for the Social Studies' flagship journal "Social Education" has an article in the May/June 2017 edition entitled "The Lessons from Loving v. Virginia still Resonate 50 Years Later". 

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has a page "Looking Back at the Landmark  Case, Loving v. Virginia". 

DocsTeach from the National Archives has the actual Supreme Court decision on their website as a primary source document, along with some general information.  Along the same lines, Oyez has the syllabus and case files, as well as an audio of oral argument on April 10, 1967.  

A video report for PBS Newshour Extra shows Mildred Loving's ACLU lawyer recounting the narrative of the case.  

A New York Times 2008 editorial entitled "Loving v. Virginia and the Secret History of Race" provides students a different viewpoint.

Time Magazine has an article from 2016 entitled "What You Didn't Know about Loving v. Virginia"

Lesson Plans

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Learning Gateways - The Fourteenth Amendment: Expanding Definitions of Equality from the American Bar Association uses Loving as an example for learning the Fourteenth Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause.  

iCivics' lesson "The Road to Civil Rights" uses Loving v. Virginia as an example of a significant civil rights Supreme Court case (along with Brown v. Board of Education, Bailey v. Patterson, and Heart of Atlanta v. US). 

The Bill of Rights Institute has a lesson on Loving v. Virginia.  

The National Constitution Center's lesson "Supreme Court: Practice with Precedents 2010" uses Loving v. Virginia (and other cases) as a way to familiarize students with the way the Supreme Court reviews cases.  

Teaching Tolerance (a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center) has a teachers guide for grades 6-12 entitled "The Loving Story".  It is a guide to use with the HBO documentary of the same name.  It includes questions for discussion, vocabulary, and ties to standards.  

Created Equal is a film project by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and it has a section entitled "The Strategy of Nonviolence".  In that section there is a short (1:22 minutes) clip of The Loving Story.  NEH also includes background information, potential questions for class discussion, and other resources.  

For questions about this information, contact Kristen McDaniel (608) 266-2207