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Mark Pennell sits at the helm of his time machine.Mark's Almanac is a 90-second time travel that highlights the world's history from the very serious to the sometimes sublime.

Mark's Almanac for August 19, 2021

A mural of Benjamin Banneker.
MAXIME SEELBINDER
/
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
A mural depicting Benjamin Banneker in the Recorder of Deeds Building in Washington, D.C.

It was on this date in 1791 that African-American author, surveyor, landowner, and farmer Benjamin Banneker sent a letter to Thomas Jefferson, criticizing his pro-slavery stance. And it was on this date in 1955 that WINS radio in New York announced it would no longer play white cover versions of black artists.