An associate professor at the University of Mississippi, Dr. Ranjan Batra, got the ball rolling after viewing the Steven Spielberg film Lincoln. Upon discovering that Mississippi had yet to officially ratify the amendment, Batra looked further into it. Batra discovered that Mississippi had in fact voted to ratify the amendment in a more timely fashion – only 130 years late in 1995 – but because of an "oversight" in which the state never officially notified the US Archivist, it wasn't official.
That glaring "oversight" has been corrected:
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.”
Frazier remarked, “We’re very deliberate in our state. We finally got it right.”
Hosemann said he is glad to see the chapter closed, adding, “It was long overdue.”
To be a part of something historic, to see the 13th Amendment finally ratified pleases Sullivan. “Now it’s officially filed and recorded,” he said. “There’s no asterisk by Mississippi any more.”
Such an oversight is, of course, understandable. Our lawmakers have been busy with so many other important things, like passing laws like the one to ensure citizens have the right to eat 20 Big Macs if they wish, or laws to ban Ninja Turtle-human hybrid pregnancies. You know, important stuff like that. But finally, they did get around to abolishing slavery, a century and a half after everyone else.
Thank you, Mississippi state government. You're doing such a great job. Just think, 149 years ago, you'd have been ahead of the curve.