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Mississippi Ratifies Amendment Abolishing Slavery 148 Years Later

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A general view of atmosphere at the TIME's screening of "Lincoln" and Q & A on Oct. 25, 2012 in New York City. (credit: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for TIME)

A general view of atmosphere at the TIME’s screening of “Lincoln” and Q & A on Oct. 25, 2012 in New York City. (credit: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for TIME)

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JACKSON, Miss. (CBS Houston) — Better late than never.

The state of Mississippi has finally ratified the 13th Amendment which abolishes slavery – 148 years later.

The Clarion Ledger reports that Dr. Ranjan Batra, a professor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, looked into states ratifying an amendment after watching Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” last November and learned that Mississippi never approved the amendment after initially rejecting it in 1865.

Batra then told colleague Ken Sullivan who called the National Archives’ Office of the Federal Register to inform them that Mississippi still did not ratify the 13th Amendment.

“I felt very connected to the history,” Sullivan told the Clarion Ledger.

Sullivan was able to retrieve a copy of a 1995 Senate resolution, which passed both the Mississippi House and Senate, that ratified the amendment to abolish slavery, but it was never sent to the Office of the Federal Register.

“What an amendment to have an error in filing,” Dick Molpus, Mississippi’s former secretary of state, told the Clarion Ledger. “Thanks to Ken Sullivan for being a good citizen in bringing this oversight to light, so it can be corrected.”

Current Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann sent the Office of the Federal Register a copy of the 1995 Senate bill and on Feb. 7, Mississippi finally ratified the 13th Amendment.

“Now it’s officially filed and recorded,” Sullivan said. “There’s no asterisk by Mississippi any more.”

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