1995- Mississippi signs Amendment
By Melissa M
On March 16th 1995, the state of Mississippi finally ratified the 13th amendment.
The 13th amendment is a law that prohibits slavery. According to Wikipedia the Amendment states that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
In 1995, Mississippi was the last state to sign the 13th Amendment. Most states did so in 1965 according to USContitution.net. Mississippi has a long history with slavery as it was a big part of their society, culture, and workforce, according to nashuatelegraph.com.
Three fourths of the states need to approve an amendment for it to be passed as US constitution. The Constitution was passed without needing Mississippi to agree to it, so the issue was just left alone.
According to nashuatelegraph.com a Texas clerk in the legislative revealed that Mississippi had not signed the 13th Amendment. So he sent letters to the African-American Legislative members and urged them to do something about it.
Kenley Jones, correspondent for NBC Nightly News said “In 1869, the Mississippi Legislature did adopt a bill abolishing slavery, which is now part of the state’s Constitution. So, ratifying the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution is meaningless from a legal standpoint, but symbolically, it means a lot.”
The 13th Amendment lead the way for freedom for the enslaved peoples in the United States.
Mississippi signed the 13th Amendment 19 years behind all other states.