FROM WIKIPEDIA COMMONS
Benjamin Banneker (November 9, 1731 – October 19, 1806) was a free African-American almanac author, surveyor, landowner and farmer who had knowledge of mathematics and natural history. Born in Baltimore County, Maryland, to a free African-American woman and a former slave, Banneker had little or no formal education and was largely self-taught. He became known for assisting Major Andrew Ellicott in a survey that established the original borders of the District of Columbia, the federal capital district of the United States.
Banneker’s knowledge of astronomy helped him author a commercially successful series of almanacs. He corresponded with Thomas Jefferson on the topics of slavery and racial equality, Jefferson having earlier drafted the United States Declaration of Independence. Abolitionists and advocates of racial equality promoted and praised Banneker’s works.
Although a fire on the day of Banneker’s funeral destroyed many of his papers and belongings, one of his journals and several of his remaining artifacts are presently available for public viewing. Parks, schools, streets and other tributes commemorate him and his works. However, many accounts of his life exaggerate his accomplishments or attribute to him the achievements of others.
Around 1753, at about the age of 21, Banneker reportedly completed a wooden clock that struck on the hour. He appears to have modeled his clock from a borrowed pocket watch by carving each piece to scale. The clock purportedly continued to work until his death.
- 1863: PRESIDENT LINCOLN SIGNED THE NATIONAL CURRENCY ACT, ESTABLISHING A NATIONAL BANKING SYSTEM AND UNIFORM CURRENCY
- BORN 1914: ROBERT ALDA (ACTOR)
- BORN 1916: JACKIE GLEASON (ACTOR & COMEDIAN)
- 1919: GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK IN ARIZONA WAS ESTABLISHED
- BORN 1920: TONY RANDALL (ACTOR)
- BORN 1928: ANTOINE “FATS” DOMINO (SINGER)
- 1929: GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK IN WYOMING IS ESTABLISHED
- BORN 1932: JOHNNY CASH (SINGER)
- 1933: GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY FOR GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE TOOK PLACE IN SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
- BORN 1937: HAGOOD HARDY (COMPOSER)
- 1972: BUFFALO CREEK DISASTER: 50 FOOT WALL OF WATER SMASHED DOWN A NARROW VALLEY WHEN A DAM BROKE, WEST VIRGINIA
- BORN 1973: JENNY THOMPSON (OLYMPIC SWIMMER)
- BORN 1979: CORINNE BAILEY RAE (SINGER)
- 1983: MICHAEL JACKSON’S THRILLER ALBUM HIT NUMBER 1 ON BILLBOARD 200 CHART AND REMAINED THERE FOR 37 WEEKS
- 1986: ROBERT PENN WARREN NAMED U.S. POET LAUREATE CONSULTANT IN POETRY
- 1993: A POWERFUL BOMB EXPLODED IN AN UNDERGROUND PARKING LOT OF THE WORLD TRADE CENTER IN NYC, KILLING 6 PEOPLE
- DIED 1993: CONSTANCE FORD (ACTRESS)
- BORN 1993: TAYLOR DOOLEY (ACTRESS)
- DIED 1997: DAVID DOYLE (ACTOR)
- 2000: CANADA’S GEODESIC MISSION LAUNCHED IN TO NORTHERN LIGHTS, ALASKA
- 2004: FIRST SEXTUPLETS TO BE BORN IN OHIO (AKRON)
- DIED 2006: BILL CARDOSO (WRITER WHO COINED THE TERM “GONZO” TO DESCRIBE THE UNRESTRAINED PARTICIPATORY JOURNALISM PRACTICED BY HUNTER S. THOMPSON AND OTHERS)
- DIED 2009: WENDY RICHARD (ACTRESS)
- 2012: AT AGE 82, CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER BECAME THE OLDEST OSCAR WINNER AFTER RECEIVING THE ACADEMY AWARD FOR BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR FOR HIS ROLE IN BEGINNERS
- 2017: ANNULAR ECLIPSE OF THE SUN