No fear: 13 random facts to get you through Friday the 13th


Today is Friday the 13th. It’s not as scary as giant centipedes or, say, the future of health care in this country, but if you’ve got paraskevidekatriaphobia, it’s still a little spooky.

Both Fridays and the number 13 have a centuries-old tradition of being unlucky, according to Snopes, but the hubbub about Friday the 13th didn’t really get going until the 20th century.

Here are 13 completely random facts about Friday the 13th to help you get through the day.

1. In 1908, a U.S. Senator from Oklahoma tempted fate by submitting 13 bills on Friday, March 13th. 

2. You’re going to see a Friday the 13th at least every 14 months. That’s the way the math works. On the other extreme, there can be up to three Friday the 13ths in a year. (There are two this year.)

RELATED: Five places to watch scary movies in Austin

3. Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro was born on Friday, Aug. 13 in 1926. It didn’t appear to have affected his luck … he lived to be 90 and survived many assassination attempts.

4. On Friday Aug. 13, 1521, Hernán Cortés captured Cuauhtémoc, the ruler of Tenochtitlán, This turned out to be bad luck indeed for the Aztec Empire.

5. On Friday Nov. 13, 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote the line “in this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Not so much bad luck as truth, but it seems appropriate.

6. President Franklin D. Roosevelt refused to travel on the 13th, no matter what day it fell on. Turns out he just had triskaidekaphobia.

7. In Paris, a quatorzième is a professional who will join a strange dinner party that happens to have an unlucky 13 guests.

8. Thomas W. Lawson published his novel “Friday the Thirteenth” in 1907. The book was about a stockbroker trying to take down Wall Street on … you guessed it, the titular day.

RELATED: 13 times Disney movies actually scared us

9. Tupac Shakur died in Las Vegas on Friday, Sept. 13, 1996, days after being shot multiple times. 

10. Pop singer Taylor Swift probably isn’t sweating it today. She considers 13 to be her lucky number. She was born on Wednesday the 13th in December 1989 — but that just allowed her to turn 13 on Friday the 13th.

11. Jason Vorhees from the “Friday the 13th” movies? He was originally going to be named Josh.

12. Black Sabbath released their debut album on Friday, Feb. 13, 1970. Look what happened to Ozzy Osbourne.

13. Friday the 13th is a great day to get married or book a flight … if you are driven by bargains more than superstition. There are enough people who refuse to do either on those days, that it creates a buyer’s market.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Judge: Greg Kelley should be declared innocent in sex assault case
Judge: Greg Kelley should be declared innocent in sex assault case

State District Judge Donna King has ruled that the conviction of Greg Kelley, a former high school football star sent to prison on child sexual assault charges, should be overturned and that he meets the state’s legal threshold to be declared innocent, Kelley’s lawyer said. Under Texas law, a defendant meets the standard for &ldquo...
Once homeless teen receives laptop for school, needs more help
Once homeless teen receives laptop for school, needs more help

Lyric Wardlow didn’t have much of a childhood. The 19-year-old Austin woman spent most of her time caring for her mother, who had mental illness and hoarding problems. Wardlow didn’t have toys or friends to play with. She entertained herself by singing in the park. Life got much harder when Wardlow was 9 years old after she and her mother...
JUST IN: Austin police ID officer, stabbing suspect shot on Sunday
JUST IN: Austin police ID officer, stabbing suspect shot on Sunday

Austin police have identified a man suspected of stabbing a person in Northwest Austin on Sunday and the officer who shot him. Officers responded Sunday morning to a home in Northwest Hills, where they say 59-year-old Quinton Wiles stabbed another man multiple times. Police said Wiles is being charged with aggravated assault and was booked into the...
Namesake of Jack Brown Cleaners dies at 89

Jack Brown, the namesake of the ubiquitous Central Texas dry cleaning operation, has died. An obituary in Monday’s American-Statesman said Brown died Friday in the presence of his family. He was 89. A 1949 University of Texas graduate, Brown worked as a civil engineer for the Texas Highway Department before joining his father in the laundry business...
Austin among districts piloting a new way to rate schools
Austin among districts piloting a new way to rate schools

The Austin school district is one of 20 districts and charter systems chosen to participate in a pilot program to develop its own system of grading itself. The pilot was established under a new law House Bill 22, which also scaled back the A-F accountability system, unpopular among school district officials. READ: Austin district calls on lawmakers...
More Stories