Benjamin Banneker was a remarkable man who accomplished many different things in a time in which racial discrimination would have made such achievements nearly impossible. He was born on November 9, 1731 and died on October 9, 1806. His father was a freed slave and Ben’s only classroom education came from a kindly Quaker who recognized his talents. He became a skilled astronomer and assisted with the initial survey of the boundaries of the future Washington D.C. before illness caused him to quit. He wrote an almanac and revised editions between 1792-1797. He corresponded with Thomas Jefferson and criticized him for owning slaves. After his death, many of his papers and personal belongings eventually were placed in the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum. Banneker was commemorated on a postage stamp. Banneker’s scientific achievements have become the subject of a complex series of legends including a popular myth concerned his creation of the first wooden striking clock in America. He did make a clock but sources suggest it was not the first of its kind.