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Benjamin Banneker
Date Issued: 1980-02-15
Postage Value: 15 cents

Commemorative issue
Black Heritage
Benjamin Banneker

Born a slave in Ellicott Mills, Maryland in 1731, Benjamin Banneker disproved the belief that African-Americans were inferior. His early education was provided by a Quaker family. The date he was released from slavery is not known. What is known is that Banneker wasted little time in making his mark. He was making astronomical calculations in 1776. He predicted a solar eclipse in 1789, and he assisted in a geographical survey of Washington, DC, the following year. He is credited with the first scientific book written by an African-American, an annual farmers almanac. He also computed the cycle of the 17-year locust and published material on bees. Some historians also credit him with making the first wooden clock in America, which he carved with a jackknife.

Topics: African American (236)  Portrait (895)  Science/Scientists (91)  

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