J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books have always been slightly altered for American readers — changing "Mum" to "Mom" and using different spellings. Rowling's recent spat of e-books, however, are the same for everybody everywhere; there's nobody combing through the text to fix things up for American Potterheads. That might explain how a big mistake about American history slipped through the cracks in one of the Brit's new pieces.
Rowling has been releasing short writings on the history of magic in North America, setting the stage for November's Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them. Last week, Rowling shared a chapter detailing the origins of the Magical Congress of the United States of America, or MACUSA, which governed witches and wizards in the U.S. Although MACUSA ultimately settled in New York City, it relocated quite a bit at first: Appalachia, Williamsburg, Virginia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C.
"It was in Washington that President Elizabeth McGilliguddy presided over the infamous ‘Country or Kind?’ debate of 1777," Rowling writes of a fiery MACUSA debate. Except Washington D.C. wasn't established until 1790. Whoops! People are pointing out the error for Rowling on Twitter. But who knows? Maybe she's got a trick up her sleeve to magically explain the mistake.