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National
Friday the 13th: What’s so unlucky about 13?
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Friday the 13th: What’s so unlucky about 13?

13 Things You Didn't Know About Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th: What’s so unlucky about 13?

Friday the 13th.

Does the thought of that date send shivers down your spine? Do you think of bad luck, bizarre happenings, aluminum (see below)? If so, don’t worry.

You’re not alone.

The fear of Friday the 13, or just the number 13, is a common one. So common, in fact, there’s a name for it.

>> Read more trending news

History is silent on how the number has come to be seen as unlucky, but there is a rather unnerving amount (more than 13) of historical events that have likely led to the misfortune under which 13 suffers.

Here are a few.

When it was unlucky

 

  • Pope John Paul II was shot and nearly died on May 13, 1981.
  • There were 13 people at the Last Supper, and, in case you missed the first connection, it’s believed that Judas Iscariot - the disciple who betrayed Jesus Christ - was the 13th man to take his place at the table.

  • Jesus was crucified on a Friday.
  • A 13-year-old boy in England was struck by lightning on Friday the 13th at 1:13 p.m. (in military time, 13:13).
  • On Oct. 13, 1307, there was a mass arrest and execution of members of the Knights Templar. The Knights Templar or the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ were anything but. Members were among the wealthiest and most powerful of Christian military orders. They are credited by many with establishing one of the earliest finance systems.
  • In not so Jolly Ol’ England, Friday was the traditional day for public hangings. Insult to injury – there were 13 steps up to the gallows, generally.

When it was lucky

  • The bus number 13 in London was never damaged during the blitz of the Second World War.
  • Apollo 13 was a 1970 NASA Moon mission famous for being a "successful failure." The accident that crippled the spacecraft happened on April 13.
  • It was on the jersey of Miami Dolphins Hall of Famer Dan Marino.
  • It was on the jersey of Los Angeles Lakers, and Philadelphia 76ers Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain.
  • A baker's dozen means you get 13 of something – or one more than a standard dozen. The down side is it is sometimes called a “Devil’s dozen.” (think donuts)
  • The visions of the Virgin of Fátima were said to have appeared on the 13th day of every month for six months in 1917. 

Where 13 is not used

  • There’s no 13th floor in many high-rise buildings.
  • There is often no 13th floor in a hospital, and airports generally don’t have a Gate 13.
  • In triathlons, the number 13 is not used.
  • The number was not used in Formula One from 1977 to 2013.
  • While there are 19 counties in Norway they are numbered 1-20 because there is no number 13 county.

13 in general

  • Aluminum has the atomic number 13.
  • 13 is the sixth prime number.
  • It is the smallest emirp or a prime number that is a different prime when its reversed - 31.
  • Fear of the number 13 is called Triskaidekaphobia.
  • Fear of Friday the 13th is Paraskevidekatriaphobia or, sometimes, Friggatriskaidekaphobia. 
  • Fear of the number 17 – the number of letters in Triskaidekaphobia – is Heptadecaphobia.
  • The Aztecs considered thirteen a sacred number. It was the number that represented time. It stood for completion.
  • In Tarot, 13 is the card of “Death.” The card stands for transformation – ending something and starting something new.
  • There are 13 stripes on the American flag.
  • There are 13 stars in the Great Seal of the United States.
     
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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • The City of Winter Park is taking delivery on Friday of a new holiday tree, after retiring the tree donated almost 30 years ago by former WFTV news anchor Bob Opsahl.  The new 20-foot southern red cedar was found in a nursery in north central Florida and will be delivered by crane to Central Park, according to Clarissa Howard with the city’s communications department. The aging tree took some hits from a microburst last July, and then Hurricane Irma, but was lit for the final time this past holiday season. It is balding at the top now and has some gaps inside the base that forced the city to add some metal framing to the tree in order to decorate it properly, said Howard.  Although retired, it will remain in the southern part of the park near the Rose Garden to enjoy.
  • A California man is accused of shooting and killing his mother after becoming upset over a video game he was playing, police officials said.  Matthew Douglas Nicholson, 28, of Ceres, is charged with murder and making a criminal threat, according to records from the Stanislaus County Jail. He is being held without bail.  Officials with the Ceres Police Department reported that officers were called to Nicholson’s parents’ home shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday after his father called 911 to report the shooting. Nicholson’s mother, Lydia Susanne Nicholson, had been shot in the head. The 68-year-old woman died of her injuries at a hospital.  >> Read more trending news Detectives determined that Matthew Nicholson was in his bedroom, playing video games, when he became enraged over the game he was playing and started yelling, police officials said. His mother went into his room to check on him, and the pair began arguing.  Nicholson broke his game headset during the argument and blamed his mother, officials said. Threatening to kill his mother and father, he retrieved a handgun, police officials said. After firing two shots into a wall, Nicholson turned the gun on his mother, according to investigators.  He also tried to shoot his father, Loren Nicholson, who wrestled the gun away from him, a Ceres Police Department news release said. The 81-year-old was not injured in the scuffle.  “I understand that he would’ve killed the father, too, but the gun jammed,” a family friend told Fox 40 in Sacramento. “The father grabbed the gun (and) emptied it.” Matthew Nicholson fled and headed to his sister’s home, in nearby Riverbank, police officials said. Officers there located the vehicle he was driving and conducted a high-risk traffic stop. Nicholson was taken into custody without incident, the news release said.    His sister described their mother as a wonderful person who loved her children and husband of 32 years. Lydia Nicholson worked in the local school system, Autumn Nicholson told Fox 40.  “(She) had so much compassion for people and just wanted to see the best in people at all times,” she said. 
  • A teenager who was diagnosed last month with strep throat is recovering after family members said the bacteria behind the illness got into the girl’s bloodstream, causing septic shock. >> Read more trending news Jennifer Phillips, the mother of 16-year-old Alexis Patton, told WAND that her daughter started to feel sick on Dec. 21. “I took her (to the hospital) that next day, Friday, and then by Monday evening, she was intubated on life support,” Phillips said. She told the news station that doctors determined that the bacteria that causes strep throat, streptococcus, got into Alexis’s bloodstream and settled in her legs. In a GoFundMe account started to help support the family through Alexis’s illness, family friends said Alexis went into septic shock because of the bacteria and had to be put on a ventilator. “It’s been really hard — the traveling back and forth, the sleepless nights at the hospital over and over. It’s been really rough,” Phillips told WAND last week. “She’s going to have to have a lot of surgeries, a lot of skin grafts and (she will have to) learn how to walk again.” Family members said on a Facebook page dedicated to updating people on Alexis’s condition that the 16-year-old underwent multiple surgeries. Doctors told her family on Friday that her infection was resolved just over three weeks after she was first hospitalized. Family members on Sunday posted a video of Alexis as she continued her recovery. Phillips warned parents to take their children in to the doctor’s office as soon as they feel ill in light of her daughter’s illness. “Don’t wait to take your kids in,” she told WAND. “Even if they just have common cold/flu symptoms, make sure they’re getting checked.”
  • Update 1:20 p.m. Jan. 16: Officials said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon that the 13 siblings taken from a California home after they were held captive by their parents for an undisclosed period of time are recovering. The siblings, who range in age from 2 to 29, were in stable condition Tuesday. “They’re very friendly, they’re very cooperative and I believe that they’re hopeful that life will get better for them after this event,” said Mark Uffer, CEO of the Corona Regional Medical Center. Riverside County Sheriff's Department Capt. Greg Fellows said Louise Anna Turpin, the mother of the children, was “perplexed” when police arrived at the family’s home Sunday. Authorities said they had received no prior calls to the house and said there were no early indications that either Linda Anna Turpin or her husband, 57-year-old David Allen Turpin, had any history of mental illness. Original report: A California couple was arrested Sunday after 13 siblings, ranging in age from 2 to 29, were allegedly held captive in a home, with several children “shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings,” the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said Monday. >> Read more trending news In a news release, the Sheriff’s Department said David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were arrested and charged with torture and child endangerment. Bail was set at $9 million apiece, according to the news release. Early Sunday, a 17-year-old called 911 and said she had escaped from her residence in Perris, according to the Sheriff’s Department. The teenager claimed that her 12 brothers and sisters were “being held captive” in the residence by her parents.  When deputies met with the teen, she “appeared to be only 10 years old and slightly emaciated.” Deputies went to the residence and said they were “shocked” to find the teen’s 12 siblings, seven of whom were adults ranging in age from 18 to 29. All of them appeared to be “malnourished and very dirty,” according to the release. The parents were subsequently arrested, deputies said. The six children, including the teen who escaped, were taken to a hospital in Moreno Valley for treatment, deputies said. The adults were being treated at a hospital in Corona. David Turpin’s parents, James and Betty Turpin of West Virginia, told ABC News they were surprised and shocked at the allegations, KABC reported. According to the California Department of Education website, David Turpin is listed as principal of the Sandcastle Day School, which was operated out of his home. The address listed for the school is the same residence where the 13 victims were discovered, CNN reported. The school opened March 21, 2011, according to the website, and was categorized as a private school for students in grades one through 12.
  • Special counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, to testify before a grand jury as part of the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its possible ties to the Trump campaign, The New York Times reported Tuesday. >> Read more trending news >> Related: Steve Bannon to testify before House Intel Committee in Russia probe