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This Day in History – October 6, 1971

First legal interracial marriage occurs In North Carolina


On this day in 1971, the first legal interracial marriage occurred when John A. Wilkinson married Lorraine Mary Turner. Wilkinson was black while Turner was white.

Anti-miscegenation laws, which ruled interracial marriage or intercourse illegal, had been a primary component of the law in many states from before the actual establishment of the United States. Many of these laws remained intact and upheld until they were deemed unconstitutional in 1967 by the U.S. Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia.


Since the unanimous Supreme Court ruling in 1967, which ended all race based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States, there has been an increase in interracial marriage in the U.S.

Although the U.S. Supreme court ruled anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional in June of 1967, it wasn’t until more than 4 years later that the first legal interracial marriage took place in North Carolina.


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