JK Rowling may have finished writing her Harry Potter books but any half-informed fan will know that there’s still plenty of information to be had on the author’s website Pottermore.
The dedicated Potter site has seen the release of reams of extra writing ever since Rowling called time on the books with her final instalment,The Deathly Hallows, back in 2007 – from Ginny Weasley’s World Cup reports to fresh details on the Potter family to a wealth of information around her new film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
In anticipation of the movie’s release (18th November, for anyone else counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds), Rowling published a short story detailing the origins of the Magical Congress of the United States of America (or MACUSA for short).
In the piece, she writes:
MACUSA relocated to Baltimore, where President Able Fleming had his home, but the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, followed by the arrival of the No-Maj Congress in the city, made MACUSA understandably nervous and they departed for Washington.
It was in WASHINGTON that President Elizabeth McGilliguddy presided over the infamous ‘Country or Kind?’ debate of 1777. Thousands of witches and wizards from all over America descended upon MACUSA to attend this extraordinary meeting, for which the Great Meeting Chamber had to be magically enlarged. The issue for discussion was: did the magical community owe their highest allegiance to the country in which they had made their homes, or to the global underground wizarding community? Were they morally obliged to join American No-Majs in their fight for liberation from the British Muggles? Or was this, simply put, not their fight?
The key words there are Washington and 1777 – we’ve bolded them up for you because we’re helpful like that.
You see, as some fans have pointed out, Washington DC wasn’t actually founded until 1790, 13 years after that meeting was purported to take place.
.@jk_rowling I'm confused about something re: MACUSA. How did they move to Washington before Washington existed?— Chad Walters (@ChadWaIters) October 7, 2016
How the hell did MACUSA meet in Washington in 1777? DC wasn't formed yet. Did they meet inside General Washington's, à la Magic School Bus?
— Heather (@charminggoats) October 6, 2016
ALSO: MACUSA moves to Washington, DC in 1777. In reality, Washington, DC was founded in 1790. NO ONE looked this up?— JILLIAN☆ (@happystopwatch) October 6, 2016
It just goes to show, you can always rely on the internet to do your fact checking – that and the fact that even the great JK Rowling makes a mistake from time to time.