A German P.O.W. and Black Nurse Marry During Jim Crow

German soldier and Black nurse overcome the obstacles of interracial marriage

June 10, 2013, 2:44 PM

June 12, 2013 — -- Unlikely romances, couples defying all the odds against their love - are iconic story plots from "Romeo and Juliet" to "Superman."

For a time, the improbable romances in the United States were defined by anti-miscegenation laws, or laws that enforced racial segregation. This was not that long ago, this was the law of the land up until the 1960's. In some states, couples could be thrown in jail for interracial marriage.

The landmark Supreme Court decision known as Loving v. Virginia dissolved the prohibition of interracial marriages on June 12, 1967, and this day is now celebrated as Loving Day. (The landmark decision has been cited in the present-day battle for same sex marriage.)

Today, one in 10 marriages are interracial in the United States according to the latest Census data.

But 20 years before Loving v. Virginia, another unlikely romance brewed during World War II under the Arizona sun between a Black nurse and a German prisoner of war.

In commemoration of Loving Day, Fusion spoke with writer Alexis Clark, who is writing a book about Frederick Albert and Elinor Powell, the couple who, despite the odds against them, found love in the desert.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events