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Benjamin Banneker's Almanac cover from 1795
A portrait of Benjamin Banneker on the cover of his Almanac, 1795

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Mathematician and Astronomer Benjamin Banneker Was Born
November 9, 1731

What do you see when you look at the stars? Benjamin Banneker saw astronomical patterns from which he could make calculations and predictions. A mathematician and astronomer, Benjamin Banneker was born on November 9, 1731, in Ellicott's Mills, Maryland.

Largely self-taught, Banneker was one of the first African Americans to gain distinction in science. His significant accomplishments include the successful prediction of a solar eclipse, publishing his own almanac, and the surveying of Washington, D.C. Banneker spent most of his life on his family's 100-acre farm outside Baltimore. There, he taught himself astronomy by watching the stars and learned advanced mathematics from borrowed textbooks.

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