Mississippi […] only got around to officially ratifying the amendment last month — 148 years later — thanks to the movie “Lincoln.” The state’s historical oversight came to light after Mississippi resident Ranjan Batra saw the Steven Spielberg-directed film last November […]. After watching the film, which depicts the political fight to pass the 13th Amendment, Batra did some research. He learned that the amendment was ratified after three-fourths of the states backed it in December 1865. Four remaining states all eventually ratified the amendment — except for Mississippi. Mississippi voted to ratify the amendment in 1995 but failed to make it official by notifying the U.S. Archivist. Batra spoke to another Mississippi resident, Ken Sullivan, who contacted Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann about the oversight. Finally, on Jan. 30, Hosemann sent the Office of the Federal Register a copy of the 1995 resolution, and on Feb. 7, the Federal Register made the ratification official.
Two medical school colleagues, one an immigrant from India, the other a life-long Mississippian, joined forces to resolve a historical oversight that until this month had never officially been corrected. Dr. Ranjan Batra, professor of Neurobiology and Anatomical sciences at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, told ABC News he was inspired to investigate the history of the Thirteenth Amendment in his state after a viewing of the film “Lincoln.” […] Batra proceeded to do some investigating of his own, noticing on the website usconstitution.net, that there was an asterisk next to the state of Mississippi in connection with the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment.
Batra: “Mississippi gets a lot of bad press about this type of stuff and I just felt that it is something that should be fixed, and I saw every reason that could be done.” “Everyone here would like to put this part of Mississippi’s past behind us and move on into the 21 st century rather than the 19th.”
[…] Batra enlisted the help of University of Mississippi Medical Center colleague Ken Sullivan, who took an immediate interest in the story, calling the national archives to confirm that they had in fact never received the proper paperwork.
Batra: “The last paragraph [of the bill] directs the Secretary of State of Mississippi to inform the national archives of the law of the ratification which is exactly the way ratification is supposed to proceed, but that hadn’t been done for whatever reason.”
Sullivan: “For me it was just important that this part of history was done from our state.” “I know we have some dark spots in our history through the south, it still affects people’s opinions about Mississippi today.”
Sullivan and Batra are thankful the ratification question has finally been resolved. Now, that asterisk next to Mississippi can finally be removed.
The Mississippi Legislature had actually formally ratified the historic amendment in 1995, which even then was more than a century late […]. Throughout 1865, 26 states ratified the critical law, and in December of that year, the amendment was formally adopted into U.S. law after Georgia’s approval brought the number the required 27. Several states, including Kentucky and Delaware, waited decades to ratify the amendment, the last being Mississippi in 1995 — or so the state thought.
Better late than never, I suppose. Yikes. ~Vic