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149 Years After the Passing of the 13th Amendment Slavery Is Officially Outlawed in Mississippi

Did you know that the 13th amendment, the one which abolished slavery, was not officially ratified in the state of Mississipi until 2013? The century-and-a-half-over-due ratification took place this month due to a man from India, Dr. Ranjan Batra, and the blockbuster Lincoln.

The professor of neurobiology and anatomical sciences at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and US citizen since 2008, Dr. Ranjan Batra, saw the Steven Spielberg film Lincoln and then began to look into the history of the 13th Amendment. He learned from that Delaware, Kentucky, New Jersey and Mississippi refused to ratify the amendment after it was passed in 1864. All has since ratified it except for Mississippi. Sort of.

Mississippi ratified the 13th Amendment in 1995 (a bit late if you ask me) but the US Archivist had never been officially notified of its ratification, thus leaving an asterisk next to Mississippi when it came to the 13th Amendment.

Dr. Batra informed his colleague Ken Sullivan of this fact. Sullivan too went and saw Lincoln and afterward looked into the ratification of the 13th Amendment in Mississippi.

Sullivan then contacted the office of Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann to call attention to this error. Hoseman then sent a copy of the 1995 Senate resolution to the office of the Federal Register. And with that, they got a response saying that the 13th Amendment had finally been officially ratified in the state of Mississippi. Now, all 50 US states are officially documented for ratifying the 13th Amendment.

Was this just one gigantic slip up in 1995? Why did it take until 1995 for Mississippi lawmakers to vote on the ratification of the 13th Amendment? In 1995 the resolution passed unanimously in the Mississippi House and Senate but some legislatures didn’t even vote. The Mississippi Secretary of State at the time, Dick Molpus, didn’t have an explanation for the error in filing and simply praised Sullivan for calling attention to it.




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