Mississippi has officially ratified the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which abolished slavery on December 6, 1865.
According to The Guardian, the state's "tardiness" was only corrected after two academics — Dr. Ranjan Batra, a professor in the department of neurobiology and anatomical sciences at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and Ken Sullivan, an anatomical material specialist at UMC — embarked on research prompted by watching Steven Spielberg's film Lincoln.
Batra reportedly wondered about the implementation of the Thirteenth Amendment after the Civil War. He discussed the issue with Sullivan who tracked down a copy of the bill and learned that its last paragraph required the secretary of state to send a copy to the office of the federal register, to officially sign it into law. That copy was never sent.
Sullivan then contacted the current Mississippi secretary of state, Delbert Hosemann, who filed the paperwork for the passage of the bill on January 30, 2013. The "long overdue" bill passed on February 7.