Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day in Western superstition. It occurs when the 13th day of the month in the Gregorian calendar falls on a Friday, which happens at least once every year but can occur up to three times in the same year.
Tomorrow is Friday the 13th of November 2020. So what has happened historically on this day? Let’s sum up 13 things that happened on Friday the 13th or will happen in the future.
Friday the 13th Events 📅
List of past and future events on Friday the 13th.
August 13, 1521
All comes to an end. This day turned out to be an unlucky one for the old Aztec civilization. We all know it from stories about El Dorado, like in Gonzo’s Quest. However, on August 13, 1521, the conquistador Hernán Cortés captured the ruler of the Aztecs and made himself their leader, effectively ending their civilization.
September 13, 1996
The murder of Tupac Shakur is one of the most famous unsolved cases in recent history. Some say he was taken out by his friend Suge Knight, others are convinced it was Christopher Wallace (a.k.a the Notorious B.I.G.), while others still think the FBI conspired to kill Shakur in order to end the violent East Coast vs West Coast feud. Shakur was shot four times on September 7, 1996, in Las Vegas. He succumbed to his injuries six days later on Friday, September 13.
July 13, 1923
California dreaming. The famous “Hollywood” sign in Los Angeles, USA, was unveiled on Friday the 13th. When the sign was first revealed it said “Hollywoodland” as it was technically promoting a new housing development for the rich and famous.
January 13, 2012
The Costa Concordia sank into the ocean on January 13, 2012. According to Vanity Fair, it became the largest passenger ship ever wrecked, with almost double the amount of people on board than on the Titanic. When all was said and done, 32 people died and the captain was convicted of manslaughter in 2015.
May 13, 1925
This is how everything started… no, wait for a second! There are numerous unusual laws out there, and this was passed on the unluckiest day of the year. In 1925 the state of Tennessee passed a law making it illegal for schools to teach the theory of evolution. The law is gone today, but it stuck around until 1967.
October 13, 1972
Uruguayan Flight 571 was headed towards Chile when it crash-landed in the Andes on October 13, 1972. In the following days after the crash, the survivors were reduced to hiding in the fuselage of the plane and eating deceased passengers, according to People.
The rescue efforts were called off only 10 days after the crash, so it was shocking when two men appeared 72 days later, and alerted the authorities that there were 16 other survivors trapped in the mountains.
February 13, 1970
We will, we will rock ya! This one for the rockers among us. 1970 is known as the year of Heavy Metal and Friday the 13th is known by several music experts as the music genre’s unofficial birthdate. On February 13, 1970, Black Sabbath released their debut album by the same name and created a whole new way to rock ‘n roll.
June 13, 1952
According to National Geographic, a Swedish flight disappeared while flying over the Baltic Sea on June 13, 1952. And for 40 years, the Swedish government stuck by the story that the plane was merely performing training exercises.
However, National Geographic reported that in the ’90s it was leaked that the crewmembers were actually spying on the Soviet Union for NATO — even though Sweden was officially neutral during the Cold War. And Russia responded with its own confession. A Russian pilot told a Swedish diplomat that he had shot the plane down.
July 13, 1979
For some, staying in bed on Friday the 13th doesn’t seem to help. After a lot of bad luck from walking through glass doors to getting fired, Bob Renphrey made the decision to just stay in bed every Friday the 13th. However, the short respite in bad luck didn’t last, as a later Friday the 13th saw his wife fall down the stairs to (luckily) sustain minor injuries. Phew!
August 13, 1999
The famous horror-movie legend Alfred Hitchcock was born on August 13, 1899, which was a Sunday. So unfortunately he was just two days off from a very spooky birth date suited for The Master of Suspense. However, if the famous filmmaker had still been alive in 1999 he would have turned one hundred on Friday the 13th.
August 13, 2010
Thirteen came in threes in 2010. On Friday the 13th in August of that year a 13-year-old boy was struck by lightning at reportedly 1.13 pm, or 13:13. Luckily the boy was barely hurt and survived the whole ordeal with a really cool story.
November 13, 2015
Just a few years ago NASA and other space agencies reported that some mysterious debris from space was going to fall near Sri Lanka on Friday the 13th. True to form the unidentified space debris that scientists named WT1190F fell to the earth on Friday, November 13, and was reported to be approximately 1 by 3 meters when falling.
April 13, 2029
It’s not just past dates that get to grace this list. NASA has forecast that an asteroid known as Asteroid 99942 will zoom past Earth in 2029 on Friday the 13th. The space rock is said to be set to pass our beautiful home planet at just 18,000 miles away. That’s closer to earth than any of the satellites we’ve placed into orbit.
Every Friday The 13th
Several people feel extra unlucky on Friday the 13th and it shows. According to research done by Donald Dassey, the founder of the Phobia Institute, the world’s economy suffers a loss every Friday the 13th, up to a massive $900 million dollars. All because people are scared to work or travel on this date.
Finland On Friday The 13th
In many countries Friday the 13th has become synonymous with bad luck, but Finland has taken it a step further. In 1995, Finland designated one Friday the 13th of every year as a national Accident Day. The aim of the day is to raise awareness for road and workplace safety. As the cherry on top Finland stays cheeky, since Finland offers a Flight 666 to HEL every day, and therefore also every Friday the 13th.
Oops.. That Was Too Many
Actually, that was 15 things that happened Friday the 13th or will happen in the future. But wait, where does the mythic number and date come from? Surely it has to have some historical meaning? Let’s see.
History of Friday the 13th
According to folklore historian Donald Dossey, the unlucky nature of the number “13” originated with a Norse myth about 12 gods having a dinner party in Valhalla. The trickster god Loki, who was not invited, arrived as the 13th guest and arranged for Höðr to shoot Balder with a mistletoe-tipped arrow. Dossey: “Balder died, and the whole Earth got dark. The whole Earth mourned. It was a bad, unlucky day.” This major event in Norse mythology caused the number 13 to be considered unlucky.
The superstition may have also arisen in the Middle Ages, “originating from the Story of Jesus‘ last supper and crucifixion” in which there were 13 individuals present in the Upper Room on the 13th of Nisan Maundy Thursday, the night before his death on Good Friday.
While there is evidence of both Friday and the number 13 being considered unlucky, there is no record of the two items being referred to as especially unlucky in conjunction before the 19th century.
If you read Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, you might remember learning that members of the Knights Templar—a medieval society—were arrested on Friday the 13th. Brown’s book helped popularize the belief that these arrests are the reason people fear the date. But although some of the Knights Templar were arrested on Friday, October 13, 1307, that isn’t the origin of the superstition.
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