Friday the 13th
Paraskevidekatriaphobia. The fear of Friday the 13. Friday the 13 as an unlucky day is a relatively new superstition. According to most folklorists, there is no real written evidence for Friday the 13 being unlucky. The earliest known reference in English is in Henry Sutherland Edwards’ 1869 biography of Gioachino Rossini:
“Rossini was surrounded to the last by admiring and affectionate friends; Why Friday the 13th Is Unlucky.”
Some claim that it began with the arrest of the Knights Templar. On Friday, October 13, 1307, hundreds of the Knights Templar were arrested in France, an action it seems that was motivated financially and undertaken by the efficient royal bureaucracy to increase the prestige of the crown. Philip IV was the force behind this move, but it has also stained the reputation of Clement V. From the very day of Clement V’s coronation, the king falsely charged the Templars with heresy, immorality and abuses.
However, experts agree that this is a modern-day invention and popularized in the 2003 novel The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.
Here are some other things that have happened on Friday the 13. Are they unlucky?
- Aug. 13, 1521– Conquistador Hernán Cortés captured Cuauhtémoc, the ruler of Tenochtitlán, claiming the city for Spain and marking the end of the Aztec Empire
- Sept. 13, 1940 – Five German bombs hit Buckingham Palace and destroyed the Palace Chapel, as part of Hitler’s strategic “Blitz” bombing campaign, according to reports from U.K. newspaper The Guardian.
- June 13, 1952 – A Swedish military DC-3 plane carrying a crew of eight disappeared over international waters in the Baltic Sea. Known as the “Catalina affair” because one of two Catalina rescue planes sent to search for the plane was attacked by Soviet forces. In 1991, the Soviet air force admitted that it had shot down the DC-3 as well.
- 1968 – Minn North Stars center Bill Masterton fatally injured (dies on 15th)
- Nov. 13, 1970 – A huge South Asian storm killed an estimated 300,000 people in Chittagong, Bangladesh, and create floods that killed as many as 1 million in the Ganges delta.
- June 13, 1986 – The Olsen twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley, were born.
- Jan. 13, 1989 – The “Friday the 13th virus” infected hundreds of IBM computers across Great Britain, wiping out program files and causing considerable anxiety at a time when large-scale computer viruses were a relatively new threat.
- Aug. 13, 1999 – The day would have been Alfred Hitchcock’s 100th birthday.
- Jan 13 2001 – Earthquake measuring magnitude 7.6 strikes El Salvador, killing more than 840 people
- April 13, 2005 – Terry Ratzmann shoots and kills six members of the Living Church of God and the minister at Sheraton Inn in Brookfield, Wisconsin before killing himself.
- Jan 13 2012 – Cruise ship, Costa Concordia, runs aground at Isola de Giglio, Italy, with at least 15 deaths.
Everyone has his or her favorite theory. No matter what one writes or believes, there will be some who say it is wrong and then offer up their theory. Personally, I do not believe it is unlucky. Not because of any deep research or any major thought on my part, but mostly, because I tend to forget what day it is and the actual date. Therefore, many a Friday 13th has passed me by with no notice on my part, and nothing has happened that was unlucky or bad. Not saying it does not happen, just saying it doesn’t happen to me.