Lincoln Inspires Mississippi's Official Ratification of Thirteenth Amendment

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Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln is no longer just a movie based on American history, it is now a part of it.

Viewing the movie led two men to discover and correct a historical oversight related to Mississippi’s ratification of the thirteenth amendment, according to The Clarion-Ledger.

After viewing Lincoln, an associate professor from the University of Mississippi Medical Center wanted to learn more about the events depicted in Lincoln, specifically something that happened afterward: the ratification of the thirteenth amendment or the abolishment of slavery.

While conducting his research on the topic, Dr. Ranjan Batra noticed that though Mississippi finally ratified the amendment in 1995, the state’s ratification was never made official because the U.S. Archivist was never notified.

Batra then spoke with an anatomical material specialist at UMC’s body donation program named Ken Sullivan.

After confirming Batra’s assertion with the National Archives’ Office of the Federal Register, Sullivan then watched Lincoln and was moved to take action to rectify the amendment oversight.

Sullivan found a copy of the 1995 ratification resolution and notified the office of Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, which in turn filed the necessary paperwork and sent a copy to the Director of the Federal Register, Charles A. Barth, who then declared Mississippi’s ratification of the thirteenth amendment official upon receipt of the paperwork on Feb. 7.