The New York Times on Tuesday issued a correction to a 161-year-old story that covered the plight of Solomon Northup, the subject of Best Picture Oscar winner 12 Years A Slave. The original newspaper report, dated January 20, 1853, ran with the headline “The Kidnapping Case” and the sub-headline “Narrative of the Seizure and Recovery of Solomon Northrup.” The article had two misspellings of Northup’s name, one in the sub-headline and one in the body that spelled it as Northrop. The correction was made after people tweeted the error on Monday. One of the Twitter posts was by author Rebecca Skloot, rights to whose 2010 non-fiction bestseller The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks were acquired by HBO Films for a movie to be exec produced by Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball. 12 Years A Slave is the story of a New York State black man who was born free but later kidnapped in Washington, DC in 1841 and sold into slavery. The NYT correction notes in part: “The errors notwithstanding, The Times described the article as ‘a more complete and authentic record than has yet appeared’.”
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