1926 in the Muggle World
While Newt was finding fantastic beasts, the Muggle world (or No-Maj world, to American wizards and witches) was in an exciting time. The first talkie film opened, Harry Houdini performed his last trick, Winnie the Pooh was published, Henry Ford introduced the 40-hour work week, and Agatha Christie mysteriously disappeared. As we learned in Prisoner of Azkaban, wizards are often involved, unknown to No-Maj folk, in current events. Harry reads in his textbook that, during the Salem Witch Trials, real witches were sometimes caught but used magic to escape any injury. So what else might wizards have a hand in?
Agatha Christie disappears
While Doctor Who had their own tale for why the prolific author disappeared for ten days in December 1926, could Fantastic Beasts offer up a different story? Christie proved, through her 66 novels, that she had a keen eye for details and solving mysteries – she could be a valuable part of Newt’s team as they tracked different magical creatures. True, they’re in New York, and Christie was in Britain, but what’s a little cross-continent travel for a wizard?
Harry Houdini’s final performance
In 1926, Houdini famously stayed in a coffin underwater for over an hour – how would this be possible without magic? As we saw in Goblet of Fire, there are many tactics a wizard can use to breathe under water. Maybe we’ll see Newt, Queenie, Tina, and Jacob at a Houdini show, giving him some advice about the Bubble-Head Charm or Gillyweed.
Mammoth Cave National Park opens
Where better to hide (and find) some magical creatures than a cave? The film wouldn’t be very FANTASTIC without some dragons, would it? It would make sense for Newt and his team to head to Mammoth Cave and try to cover up what’s really going on at the famous national park.
First transatlantic phone call
The first transatlantic phone call went from New York City to London – Newt calling from his current address to home? Even famous wizards need to call their mothers.
American Air Commerce Act is passed
Wizards and No-Maj people need laws in place to protect their populations, like the Statute of Secrecy. If, as the spoilers we’ve read so far suggest, there is serious conflict between No-Maj people and wizards, then it makes sense that laws would be introduced to regulate the fantastic beasts – and the Air Commerce Act would be the perfect way to regulate dragons potentially flying over New York City – maybe Newt himself helps bring this into law!