Every time I despair of the benighted state of affairs in the Gret Stet of Louisiana, our neighbors to the East ride to the rescue:
Welcome to the 19th century, Mississippi.
As of this month, Mississippi has finally officially ratified the
13th amendment that banned slavery, but it took the research of a
curious University of Mississippi Medical Center professor and his
colleague to make it happen.
According to the Jackson Clarion Ledger,
Dr. Ranjan Batra and his colleague Ken Sullivan became inspired to find
out their own state’s take on the amendment after seeing the Steven
Spielberg film Lincoln last November.
What did they learn? Mississippi was one of four states that rejected
ratification of the 13th amendment, along with New Jersey, Delaware,
and Kentucky. The amendment passed without Mississippi’s support anyway,
and all the other no-voting states symbolically ratified the amendment
in the following years. New Jersey was quick, ratifying in 1866.
Delaware had resolved the matter by 1901. Kentucky took a little longer,
waiting until 1976. Mississippi lawmakers finally got around to it in
But it doesn’t appear to have been a huge priority, because the
ratification was never sent to the Office of the Federal Register, which
means it wasn’t official.
That’s what Batra learned after he found an asterisk next to
Mississippi on the list of ratifying states. Sullivan put in a call to
the Secretary of State Sullivan contacted the office of Secretary of
State Delbert Hosemann, who agreed to file the paperwork to make
everything official, 18 years later.
Hosemann said he’s happy that the issue’s finally been resolved, “It was long overdue.”
Thanks, Docs. And thanks to Morgan Whitakerof MSNBC’s PoliticsNation whose blog post I quote. I wish I could take credit for that opening line but it was Ms. Whitaker’s.