Mississippi fixes oversight, formally ratifies 13th Amendment on slavery

File this under "I thought they did that already."

Due to a procedural glitch the last time around, the Mississippi government this month formally ratified the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery.

It comes a bit late. The amendment was adopted by the U.S. in 1865.

But, like several other states whose delegations opposed the measure at the time -- New Jersey and Kentucky included -- Mississippi subsequently voted to ratify the amendment. That vote happened in 1995.

But, as reported in The Clarion-Ledger, a key step was never taken and the ratification was not made official.

The newspaper reported how Dr. Ranjan Batra, an associate professor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, looked into the issue after watching the Steven Spielberg movie "Lincoln." He, along with another UMC colleague, discovered that the state did not officially notify the U.S. archivist in 1995 as required.

Batra's colleague, according to the newspaper, then called the Mississippi secretary of state, who at last sent the needed paperwork to the National Archives.

According to The Clarion-Ledger, the Federal Register wrote back on Feb. 7 to confirm that "with this action, the State of Mississippi has ratified the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States."

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