It was Sept. 1, 1998, that readers in the United States first got to meet a bespectacled wizard known as The Boy Who Lived.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was published in the U.S. a year after it made its U.K. debut, and as MuggleNet notes, it took a few months for news outlets to take notice of the book. (MuggleNet and Mashable both have roundups of some of the novel’s earliest reviews.)
What a difference a couple decades makes. The Potter series went on to sell more than 500 million copies in 80 languages, including more than 180 million books in the U.S. It’s spawned two movie series based in the wizarding world, spin-off books, theme parks, a mobile game, a stage production, a museum exhibition and more.
Scholastic released 20th-anniversary covers of the series last year to mark the milestone. And there were still more wizarding world releases and news in the ensuing months:
- New updates to the Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery mobile game
- Harry Potter: A History of Magic audiobook narrated by Natalie Dormer (along with hardcover and ebook editions with the same title)
- Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibit opening at the New-York Historical Society
- Illustrated editions of Tales of Beedle the Bard released by Scholastic and Bloomsbury
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald debuting in movie theaters (and in bookstores as a bound script)