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Apparently, all it takes to correct a 161-year-old spelling error is a Best Picture Oscar win.

After Steve McQueen's film "12 Years a Slave" took home the big prize at the Academy Awards Sunday night, an article about its subject, Solomon Northup, was widely circulated online. The piece ran in the New York Times on January 20, 1853, and detailed Northup's kidnapping and forced slavery, and his eventual escape.

However, the story misspelled Northup's name twice, in the headline and the body of the text, as "Northrup" and "Northrop." After the mistake was brought to the attention of the Times this week, it was finally corrected Tuesday, more than 160 years later.

Northup's memoir of his ordeal -- also called "Twelve Years a Slave" -- was adapted into a film last year, earning nine Oscar nominations and three wins (Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actress). When the book was initially released, the Times followed up its original mention of Northup's story with a short plug for the memoir, writing, "It will be read widely."

The full Times account of Northup's story is here; the Times announcement of his memoir is available here.

[h/t The Verge]
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12 Years a Slave
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In the years before the Civil War, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate... Read More

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