Mississippi forgot something.
Fully 148 years after the end of the Civil War and the U.S. end to slavery, the state has officially ratified the 13th Amendment ban on the practice.
The state thought the amendment had already been ratified by its Legislature. Turns out it hadn’t, at least in the eyes of federal record-keepers.
“It was never transmitted to the national archivist to be put on the record,” Pamela Weaver, spokeswoman for the Mississippi secretary of state, told The Times.
The 13th Amendment was passed by Congress on Jan. 31, 1865 — a fraught affair, as depicted in Steven Spielberg’s movie “Lincoln,” which will matter in a bit here — and then headed to the states for final approval. After Georgia approved the amendment on Dec. 6, 1865, three-fourths of the states had given the go-ahead for the new constitutional amendment, formally ending slavery across the land.
Nonetheless, some states dragged their spurs into the 20th century before ratifying it as a formal matter, such as Delaware (1901) and Kentucky (1976). For nearly two decades, Mississippi was the final state not to agree with the amendment, which it had originally rejected on Dec. 4, 1865.
In 1995, the Legislature finally voted to ratify the 13th Amendment. Then the paperwork that officials needed to send to the National Archives apparently slipped through the cracks.
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