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Slavery finally, formally abolished in Mississippi

| Monday, Feb. 18, 2013, 8:39 p.m.

JACKSON, Miss. — Slavery was abolished only a couple of weeks ago in Mississippi.

Because of a procedural glitch the last time around, Mississippi government formally ratified the 13th Amendment ending slavery.

The amendment was adopted by the United States in 1865. Several states opposed the measure at the time and delayed ratification. Mississippi did not vote to ratify the amendment until 1995.

But, as reported in The Clarion-Ledger, a key step was not taken and the ratification was not made official.

Dr. Ranjan Batra, an associate professor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, looked into the issue after going to see Steven Spielberg's “Lincoln.” He and a colleague discovered that the state did not officially notify the U.S. archivist in 1995 as required. Batra's colleague called the Mississippi secretary of state, who at last sent the needed paperwork to the National Archives.

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.”

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