Mississippi Finally OKs 13th Amendment Banning Slavery

...148 years after it cleared Congress
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2013 2:46 AM CST
Updated Feb 18, 2013 4:23 AM CST
Daniel Day-Lewis is seen as Abraham Lincoln, in a scene from "Lincoln."    (AP Photo/DreamWorks, Twentieth Century Fox, David James, File)
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(Newser) – Mississippi has officially ratified the 13th Amendment to the Constitution—a mere 148 years after the amendment outlawing slavery cleared Congress and was sent to state legislatures for approval. Mississippi's legislature voted to ratify the amendment in 1995, but it never became official because the state never notified the United States Archivist, the Clarion-Ledger reports. The oversight was cleared up after a doctor saw the movie Lincoln and did some research into when different states had ratified the slavery ban.

The doctor—a recent immigrant from India—and a colleague contacted state officials, who sent in the paperwork to finally make ratification official. The next-to-last state to ratify the 13th Amendment, Kentucky, did so in 1976. "We’re very deliberate in our state. We finally got it right," says state Sen. Hillman Frazier, the Democrat who introduced the resolution to ratify the amendment in 1995. It passed the Mississippi Senate and House unanimously, with some lawmakers abstaining. (Read more Mississippi stories.)

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