When doctor Ranjan Batra, researcher at University of Mississippi Medical Center, saw the movie “Lincoln,” it made him wonder about Mississippi's vote in the 1865 battle to abolish slavery. He found an asterisk in the federal record, which denoted that the state had not officially ratified the vote. In essence, Mississippi had not approved the right to end slavery through legal documentation.
"I thought this is really ridiculous," says Batra.
Batra told his co-worker at UMC, Ken Dale Sullivan, about this discover. Sullivan began work to change this oversight.
"Mississippi did take it up in 1995 it was voted on."
With the help of Sullivan and Batra, the measure was officially recorded in Washington, 148 years after the 1865 vote to abolish slavery.
After lawmakers approved the measure in 1995 the next step was to send it on to the secretary of state's office and then on to the federal government, but that is where the problem occurred.
Then Secretary of State Dick Molpus' office didn't send the paperwork to the national archivist in Washington.
Senator Hillman Frazier, author of “The Resolution Vote in '95,” says it is a bit of an embarrassment that the final work wasn't finished. But it is now.
"We have a history we can't run from we have to look at our history learn from it and go forward. It is long overdue."
"What Ken and I have done is just dotting an "i" or crossing a "t", but it is an important "i" to dot and "t" to cross," says Batra.
"I don't think it was any dark plot or any kind of plan to not get this done i just thought it was an error and I'm glad it's corrected," adds Sullivan.
Sullivan says it's a piece of Mississippi history we can all put behind us now. A bit of irony the measure was recorded by the feds February 7th, the official paperwork arrived in Sullivan's mailbox on Abraham Lincoln's birthday.