Mississippi lawmakers have officially ratified the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which banned slavery in 1865.

One hundred forty-eight years after three-fourths of the states voted to approve the amendment, Mississippi's legislature finally took steps to fix the glaring oversight last month. According to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, the decision was inspired by the Oscar-nominated film "Lincoln," which depicts the 16th president's efforts to enact the amendment.

After University of Mississippi Medical Center professor Dr. Ranjan Batra saw the film last year, he was inspired to look into what happened after states voted on the amendment. He found that while the state had originally rejected the slavery ban, the state legislature eventually voted to approve the amendment in 1995. The measure cleared both legislative chambers, but was never sent to the Office of the Federal Register and therefore never made official.

Batra then contacted another Mississippi resident, Ken Sullivan, who in turn got in touch with Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. Hosemann's office agreed to fix the oversight and file the paperwork, making the ratification official on February 7.

Click over to the Clarion-Ledger for more on how the amendment was finally ratified.

Mississippi was the last state to approve the amendment. Kentucky, the second-to-last holdout, ratified it in 1976.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated incorrectly that three-fifths of the states voted 148 years ago to approve the amendment. It was three-fourths.

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  • Benjamin Franklin

    We all know that Benjamin Franklin was an exemplary American, embodying the thrift, industriousness, and political equality we celebrate every Independence Day. He earned the title of "The First American" for his crusade to unite the original American colonies, but his loyalty to the U.S. may not have extended to his marriage. Despite his memorable paeans to the institution (Franklin famously <a href="http://www.swarthmore.edu/SocSci/bdorsey1/41docs/51-fra.html" target="_hplink">said</a>, "Marriage is the most natural state of man, and...the state in which you will find solid happiness") and his claim that "It is the man and woman united that make the complete human being," Franklin notoriously surrounded himself with female admirers. Though there are <a href="http://www.time.com/time/2003/franklin/bfwomen2.html" target="_hplink">no reports</a> of his consummating his relationships with these much younger, attractive women, Franklin <a href="http://www.time.com/time/2003/franklin/bfwomen.html" target="_hplink">was</a> "a master of amorous friendship...expressed in exchanges of teasing kisses, tender embraces, intimate conversations and rhapsodic love letters, but not necessarily sexual congress." Photo Courtesy of Flickr: mbell1975

  • George Washington

    Our first president, George Washington, is famous for his <a href="http://xroads.virginia.edu/~cap/gw/gwmoral.html" target="_hplink">inability to tell a lie</a>. The honest streak that made him famous certainly benefited his wife, Martha Dandridge Custis. Although there is some ambiguity surrounding his relationship with Sally Fairfax, to whom he wrote letters alluding to his affections for her, by all reports any flirtation between the two was <a href="http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/books/item_Rcd4C8DfaGj16So9zrbXBM" target="_hplink">never acted upon</a> after Washington married Martha. Photo Courtesy of Flickr: mbell1975

  • John Adams

    John Adams' marriage to his third cousin Abigail was one of collaboration, communication and codependence. <a href="http://www.thelizlibrary.org/suffrage/abigail.htm" target="_hplink">Correspondence</a> between the two illuminates their mutual devotion and intellectual respect; the pair always <a href="http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/adams/peopleevents/e_courtship.html" target="_hplink">referred to one another</a> as "My Dearest Friend." Abigail influenced John politically, <a href="http://www25.uua.org/uuhs/duub/articles/abigailadams.html" target="_hplink">urging him</a> to advocate for the abolition of slavery and against institutionalized sexism. By all accounts, our second president reportedly held his wife in high esteem and the pair shared a happy, faithful and loving marriage. Photo courtesy of Flickr: mbell1975

  • Thomas Jefferson

    If there is any American president deserving of a Lothario title, it is certainly Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson, who owned hundreds of slaves throughout his life, fathered six children by his "slave concubine" Sally Hemings during <a href="http://www.monticello.org/site/plantation-and-slavery/thomas-jefferson-and-sally-hemings-brief-account" target="_hplink">a relationship</a> that spanned at least 38 years. Although Jefferson <a href="http://www.monticello.org/site/plantation-and-slavery/thomas-jefferson-and-sally-hemings-brief-account" target="_hplink">freed</a> all of Sally Hemmings' children, he did not free their mother. Jefferson's wife, Martha, died while giving birth to their sixth child. Photo courtesy of Flickr: Tony the Misfit

  • John Jay

    John Jay, known as the father of New York and the first Chief Justice of the United States, reportedly shared a happy marriage with his wife, Sarah Livingston. Jay held a greater variety of posts than any of America's other founders, and Sarah acted as a political <a href="http://www.johnjayhomestead.org/images/The_Amiable_Children_Essay.pdf" target="_hplink">liaison and diplomat</a>, "astutely networking with the movers and shakers of the time." John relied on his wife considerably and the couple enjoyed a symbiotic relationship. Their marriage was a love match despite their ages -- he was 29, she was 18. Of their marriage, Sarah's brother <a href="http://johnjayhomestead.org/history/historicalessays.html" target="_hplink">wrote</a>, "Mr. & Mrs. Jay can be unhappy no where. They love each other too well..." Photo courtesy of Flickr: Jay Heritage Center

  • James Madison

    Our fourth president, the "Father of the Constitution" and author of the Bill of Rights, may have been a proponent of dividing power among the branches of government, but he did not believe in dividing his attention among women. James Madison married Dolley Payne Todd, a widow, and adopted her one surviving son. A <a href="http://www.lkwdpl.org/wihohio/madi-dol.htm" target="_hplink">charming, vivacious woman</a>, Dolley sacrificed her place in the Quaker community to which her family belonged in order to marry Madison. Ostracized from the Friends Church for marrying outside her faith, Dolley <a href="http://www.firstladies.org/biographies/firstladies.aspx?biography=4" target="_hplink">assumed the role</a> of White House hostess, holding dinner parties, salons and helping Madison to win reelection in 1812. Photo courtesy of Flickr: lreed76

  • Alexander Hamilton

    Alexander Hamilton suffered through one of the first public media scandals of America's history -- but with good reason. The first United States Secretary of Treasury was forced to resign from office out of sheer embarrassment when his three-year extramarital affair with Maria Reynolds became public. Reynolds' husband, a convicted swindler named James Reynolds, blackmailed Hamilton, demanding a fee for his silence. But when a political pamphlet <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/books/99/04/25/reviews/990425.25beschlt.html" target="_hplink">revealed</a> the Reynolds liaison, Hamilton admitted, "My crime is an amorous connection with [James Reynolds'] wife." Hamilton responded with his own pamphlet, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/books/99/04/25/reviews/990425.25beschlt.html" target="_hplink">publishing</a> an "appallingly thorough account of the affair." Despite Hamilton's partially self-inflicted public humiliation and irreparably damaged reputation, his wife Betsey stood by her man and remained his wife until his untimely death during an <a href="http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/duel/peopleevents/pande17.html" target="_hplink">infamous duel</a> at the hands of political opponent Aaron Burr. Photo courtesy of Flickr: Marion Doss Photo