Mississippi ratified the 13th amendment to abolish slavery 21 years from Wednesday — but didn’t do it correctly until 2013.
The southern state didn’t reach the two-thirds majority to ratify it back in 1865, and by the time it did, the amendment was federally imposed. It was the last state to ratify the amendment, after Kentucky in 1976. When it finally got around to it, the move was symbolic.
The ratification was not official, though, since the Mississippi senate and house did not forward it to the national archives. The slip-up was caught by Dr. Ranjan Batra, an assistant professor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, whose curiosity was peaked after watching Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln.”
The state, though, is not officially done with slavery or its racist history. This year, the governor declared Black History Month also Confederate Heritage Month, and the attorney general suggested that the state bring back hangings and firing squads for death row inmates — who are disproportionately African American.