Mississippi enters the 21st century

20 Feb

Shame on us – we either didn’t know or forgot this.

Mississippi never ratified the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, but since 27 other states accepted it, it passed.

While all the other states eventually ratified it, there is an asterisk beside Mississippi’s name.

The note reads: “Mississippi ratified the amendment in 1995, but because the state never officially notified the US Archivist, the ratification is not official.”

The story opens, not surprisingly, in a movie theater.

Last November, Dr. Ranjan Batra, from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, saw the movie “Lincoln” and wondered afterward what happened when the states voted on ratification.

He learned about Mississippi being the lone holdout.

Batra told the story to a man named Sullivan who confirmed it with the National Archives’ Office of the Federal Register.

Sullivan tracked down a copy of the 1995 Senate resolution and found it had passed both the Mississippi Senate and House without one “nay” vote.

The Mississippi office of Secretary of State took up the cause and sent the Office of the Federal Register a copy of the 1995 Senate resolution.

Last week the director of the Federal Register, wrote back that he had received the resolution: “With this action, the State of Mississippi has ratified the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.”

No more asterisk.

What a nice story.


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