Lincoln The Movie Inspires Mississippi Legislation


Spielberg ‘s epic career includes a multitude of super sci-fi and true to life depictions of American history. In Spielberg’s latest film Lincoln, he captures the events surrounding the last four months of his life and his efforts to pass the Thirteenth Amendment.

Relevancy should be garnered as just important a factor as the theatrical depiction of this fundamental piece of American history.

According to the Clarion Ledeger, Ranjan Batra, an associate professor at the University of Mississippi thought so too. Ranjan discovered after watching Lincoln The Movie that Mississippi was the only state of the 36 to exist in 1865 to never have ratified the amendment. Many states also rejected the slavery ban initially, Mississippi eventually voted to pass the bill in 1995. However, the state never got around to notifying the U.S. Archivist, so the vote was never actually made official.

Presently Batra reached out to UMC colleague Ken Sullivan regarding his discovery and Sullivan made it his mission to have Mississippi formally pass the slavery ban. After seeing Lincoln Sullivan stated “I felt very connected to the history.”

Sullivan has since contacted Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, who agreed to file the necessary paperwork. Hosemann sent a copy of the 1995 resolution on January 30, and on February 7 received a confirmation from Charles A. Barth, director of the Federal Register. “With this action, the State of Mississippi has ratified the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States,” it read.

Slavery was federally outlawed in 19th century but its chains have left behind a remarkable weight. Was Lincoln The Movie a cinematic depiction of art or an ex factor in helping this country remove the weight of its past? Definitely Oscar worthy!

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