Mississippi finally ratifies the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery

Over at the Emory U. section of the Internet, university President James Wagner wants everyone to know that he thinks the three-fifths compromise reached by the original writers of the U.S. Constitution was “repugnant.”

But as usual, Mississippi has us beat when it comes to history lessons. One hundred and forty-seven years later, that state has finally ratified the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery. From the Jackson Clarion-Ledger:

After Congress voted for the 13th Amendment in January 1864, the measure went to the states for ratification.

On Dec. 6, 1865, the amendment received the three-fourths' vote it needed when Georgia became the 27th state to ratify it. States that rejected the measure included Delaware, Kentucky, New Jersey and Mississippi.

In the months and years that followed, states continued to ratify the amendment, including those that had initially rejected it. New Jersey ratified the amendment in 1866, Delaware in 1901 and Kentucky in 1976.

Mississippi actually held a formal vote on the matter in 1995, and passed the ratification unanimously. But the required formal word was never sent to Office of the Federal Register in Washington.

Fixing the oversight became the work of two fans of the movie “Lincoln,” which dwells on passage of the amendment.

The two history repairmen, according to the Clarian-Ledger: Dr. Ranjan Batra, associate professor of neurobiology and anatomical sciences at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and Ken Sullivan, an anatomical material specialist for UMC’s body donation program.

From the newspaper:

After seeing the film, Sullivan contacted the office of Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, who agreed to file the paperwork and make it official.

On Jan. 30, Hosemann sent the Office of the Federal Register a copy of the 1995 Senate resolution, adopted by both the Mississippi Senate and House.

On Feb. 7, Charles A. Barth, 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.”

Thank you, Mr. Speilberg.

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