The 13th… Lucky or Unlucky

Number 13If you were born on the thirteenth of any month, Friday the 13th is considered an especially lucky day for you. Harrison Ford, Thomas Jefferson, Stevie Wonder, Jacqueline Bisset, Mel Torme, Margaret Thatcher, Mary Todd Lincoln were among those born on the 13th.

By: Pat Jacobs

Friday the thirteenth is traditionally considered unlucky; however, there are many LUCKY things concerning the number 13. The American dollar, since 1935, consists of a pyramid of 13 steps, 13 leaves and berries on an olive branch, and in the left talon of the eagle are 13 arrows.

The many uses of this number on the dollar refers to the 13 original colonies. The ancient Egyptians regarded 13 as a lucky number; they noticed that the moon’s phases occurred 13 times a year. Greatly impressed by this, they gave each “moon” a name, such as Harvest, Fruit, etc. Once in a great while a “blue moon” showed up as the 13th moon, which was cause for great rejoicing. (Blue was the Egyptians’ favorite color.)

If you were born on the thirteenth of any month, Friday the 13th is considered an especially lucky day for you. Charles Nelson Reilly, Robert Stack, Gwen Verdon, Stephen Foster, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Harrison Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, Kim Novak, Neil Sedaka, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Beckett, Al Green, Joe Louis, Bea Arthur, Peter Gabriel, Mary Wells, Stevie Wonder, Richard Thomas, Dan Fogelberg, Jacqueline Bisset, Nell Carter, Peter Cetera, Claudette Colbert, Mel Torme, Margaret Thatcher, Art Garfunkel, Yves Montand, Marie Osmond, Nipsey Russell, Robert Louis Stevenson, Gary Marshall, Mary Todd Lincoln, Tim Conway, and Dick Van Dyke were all born on the 13th.

In the U.S.,13 is the first official year as a teenager.

The first magazine published in the U.S. began on the 13th, as well as the first public school. The first permanent English settlement in North America, Jamestown, began. The Live Aid Concert was held on the 13th, and August 13th is International Left-Handers Day. Several baseball players like to wear the number 13, including Dave Conception of the Reds, and the Toronto Blue Jays’ Roy Howell. Pitcher Pete Vukovich thinks that Friday the 13th is his lucky day. In bridge, 13 cards of one suit (symbols such as diamonds, hearts, etc.) are considered a “perfect hand.” Emory Harrison of John City, Tennessee, had a family of 13-all sons. The odds against this are over 4,000 to 1.

The 13th of the month falls on Friday more often than on any other day. Over a period of four hundred years, there will be 688 Fridays the 13th. Of Sundays and Wednesdays, the next most occurring 13th, there will be 687. Seven U.S. presidents had names of 13 numbers: Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, James Knox Polk, Andrew Johnson, Woodrow Wilson, and Herbert Hoover. The “Star Spangled Banner” was written on September 13th, 1814. The German composer Richard Wagner considered the number lucky. His name contained 13 letters; he was born in 1813(the year adds up to 13); he left school at 13; wrote 13 operas and loved 13 women. His mother’s name contained 13 letters and he died February 13th,1883. The first election in North America was held on Friday the 13th. Also, on this day: Georgia was first settled. Construction of the White House began. George Washington was made Commander-in-Chief.

On June 16th, 1896,the steamship “Dummond Castle” bound from Capetown to England with 250 souls aboard, struck a submerged rock near Ushant, France and sank within three minutes. Only one passenger escaped with his life. He was Charles Marquardt, who clung to a floating pole all night, until rescued by a fisherman. He had been the sole occupant of cabin 13 on the vessel.


About the Author:

Pat Jacobs is currently the writer/producer of “The World Of 1960s Music” blog on Yahoo 360 (degrees).
She also writes features for www. (how-to articles) and (various non-fiction).
She can be reached at

Photo: Coed