Mississippi ratifies the 13th Amendment banning slavery

Posted at 10:13 AM, Feb 18, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-18 11:59:23-05

A middle-aged immigrant from India recently set into motion a series of events that eventually led to Mississippi finally ratifying the Constitutional amendment banning slavery.

The finale of the movie ‘Lincoln,’ which depicts the political fight to pass the 13th Amendment, was the driving force.

After Dr. Ranjan Batra saw the movie last November, he went home and did some research on the history of the 13th Amendment, according to the Atlantic Wire.

Batra discovered that while Mississippi was the last state to vote to approve the amendment way back in 1995, however the state never officially notified the federal government it had done so.

The state did vote to ratify the amendment back in 1995, nearly 20 years after Kentucky, the second-to-last state to ratify the amendment, held its vote. However, through an apparent clerical error, Mississippi never officially notified the United States Archivist of the ratification, meaning that they’ve officially been on the side of slavery for a century-and-a-half. (That sounds kind of sensational when you put it like that, but heck, you’d think the state would double check on an issue as big as this.) Batra and his friend Ken Sullivan reported the mistake up the chain of command, and this month, Mississippi finally sent in the paperwork to complete its belated ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment.

When all was said and done, Mississippi state officials were pretty humble about their government’s little blunder. Said Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, whose office filed the final papers this year, “It was long overdue.”

Read more at the Atlantic Wire