(Southaven, MS) Most of us assume issues of the past were settled long ago, but now and then, something pops up that we find shocking.
That’s how Tom Easley felt when he learned, that until just a few days ago, Mississippi had never outlawed slavery, ”I’m speechless. I had no idea until you just told me a few minutes ago. That’s unbelievable."
The 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution was supposed to take care of that, as states ratified it in the 1800’s.
Mississippi rejected it in 1865 but corrected that in 1995.
Problem is, nobody ever filed the paperwork with the federal government.
How did Mississippi officials catch this error?
Get this, it happened at a movie theater.
A doctor in Jackson saw the movie “Lincoln” and decided to research the 13th amendment in Mississippi, and learned it had never been ratified.
Mississippi’s Secretary of State was shocked to learn about the error.
”I was very surprised that this, had somehow, in a previous administration, somewhere had fallen through the cracks and this is long overdue” said Delbert Hosemann, who took quick action to fix it.
”As I checked with the National Archives and the rest of ‘em, I noticed it had not been filed and I prepared the necessary filing and submitted the 13th amendment and Mississippi was the 36th state to ratify the 13th amendment,” he said.
Mississippi’s not alone in coming late to the party, Kentucky, New Jersey, Texas and Delaware are also among those who first rejected, and later ratified the amendment.
”Obviously, it’s the right thing to do. It’s just amazing they’re just now getting to it. It’s one of those things, I guess”.
Several western states have yet to ratify the amendment, but they weren’t even states when slavery happened in the first place.