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This Day in Pop Culture for November 16

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

2001: The First ‘Harry Potter’ Film Opens

On this day in 2001, Christian parents everywhere who kept their children from reading the Harry Potter books had a new problem to deal with. The film version of the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone opened in theaters. Based on the story written by J.K. Rowling, the movie was consistent with the story about Harry and his adventures at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It is said that Rowling first got the idea for writing about Harry while riding a train from Manchester to London in 1990. She began writing that very night. The struggling single mother’s book was rejected by a number of publishers before she got a deal with Bloomsbury Publishing in 1996. That book led to six more and all of them became best sellers. To date, the Harry Potter films are the most financially successful series in history. (Image: Warner Bros.)

1801: The New York Post Publishes its First Paper

First published on this day in 1801, the New York Post is one of the oldest newspapers in the U.S. It was founded by Alexander Hamilton, then known as the New York Evening Post. He was aided by co-investors, some who were members of the Federalist Party who opposed to President Thomas Jefferson and the rise in popularity of the Democratic-Republican Party. Fast Forward to 1976: Rupert Murdoch bought the Post when it was the only surviving afternoon daily in New York City and veered sharply to the right editorially. He also imported the tabloid journalism style of his other newspapers including the United Kingdom’s The Sun which the newspaper still uses today.


  • 1907: Burgess Meredith (actor)
  • 1916: Daws Butler (voice actor)
  • 1958: Marg Helgenberger (actress)
  • 1966: Dean McDermott (actor)
  • 1967: Lisa Bonet (actress)
  • 1970: Martha Plimpton (actress)
  • 1972: Missi Pyle (actress)
  • 1977: Maggie Gyllenhaal (actress)
  • 1979: Bruce Irons (surfer)
  • 1993: Pete Davidson (actor)

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Jeffrey Totey View All

I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.

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