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Three 'capital' stars?

Did the positions of bright stars have anything to do with the layout of Washington, D.C.?
RELATED TOPICS: STARS
OMearaStephen
Two hundred and twenty-five years ago, Benjamin Banneker, a self-taught astronomer and mathematician from Baltimore County, Maryland, helped survey the boundaries of our nation’s capital using the stars as guides. Over the years, a rash of books has flavored this episode in American history with sprinkles of the occult, including sacred alignments of key structures with bright stars. But critics have picked apart many of these claims like crows on roadkill.

Indeed, American historian Silvio Bedini, who wrote the definitive biography of Bann-eker, notes that “considerable confusion” exists among writers concerning Banneker’s role in the survey of our federal city. Nevertheless, we can still look to the stars this month and imagine something “capital” about them.

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