I’d love to tell you that I can pronounce friggatriskaidekaphobia, but let’s be real. At least I know it means fear of Friday the 13th. Since we’re a history blog, let’s look at why this date is so vilified – and has been for centuries.
Legend has it that Eve handed Adam that dastardly little piece of fruit on Friday the 13th. Well, yeah, that wasn’t a good move, but there was no known calendar when Adam and Eve frolicked in the Garden.
Another legend says that the Temple of Solomon was desecrated on Friday the 13th. Ignore the fact that the calendar of that time was not the same as what we use today, that was a history-changing event.
Many people believe that Jesus was crucified on Friday the 13th. Since that’s Good Friday, I think we can cancel it out. Even if it was on the 13th, let’s agree that having a Savior isn’t a bad thing.
Probably the best-known legend is that the Knights Templar were rounded up by France’s King Philip IV on Friday, October 13, 1307. After being tortured and forced to confess to all sorts of evils, the survivors were burned at the stake. Okay, that one’s in the ghastly column. Egads! That was just 710 years ago today!
Let’s look at some more recent events that happened on Oct. 13ths:
1775 – The Continental Navy began.
1792 – The cornerstone of the White House was laid.
1845 – Texas ratified a state constitution.
1943 – Italy declared war on Germany.
1950 – Jimmy Stewart starred in Harvey. (Disclaimer: This is one of my favorite movies.)
1967 – The American Basketball Assn. debuted.
2010 – Chilean miners were rescued after 69 days underground.
On balance, I’d say there have been more good events than bad events on this day in history … so don’t be afraid to venture forth and enjoy the day!
Pegg Thomas – Writing History with a Touch of Humor
Managing Editor for Smitten Historical Romance, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Find Pegg on Facebook and Amazon