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130 Years After Civil War, Mississippi Senate Votes To Ban Slavery

February 16, 1995

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) _ It only took 130 years, but the Mississippi Senate finally voted to abolish slavery.

The House will vote next on the amendment, which senators unanimously approved Thursday with no debate.

Mississippi is the only state never to ratify the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution outlawing slavery.

The state held out when the slavery amendment was adopted in 1865, in part because lawmakers were angry they had not been reimbursed for freed slaves.

``I don’t think it’s an issue many people here would want to debate,″ said Democratic state Sen. Johnnie Walls.

``It makes you reflect on Mississippi’s past, the nation’s past ... how hard it has been for black people to overcome slavery.″

Democratic state Sen. Hillman Frazier, who brought the inaction to the attention of lawmakers this year, said the Legislature has a responsibility to address it.

``It’s never a waste of time to correct a wrong,″ he said.

But Republican state Sen. Mike Gunn called the vote silly.

``It seems to me to be a moot issue. The Mississippi of 1995 is not the Mississippi of 1865 or even 1955,″ he said.

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