Whether you’re superstitious on not, every year has a Friday the 13th. How we deal with it is different.
“If there is a Friday the 13th in May, June or August, that’s the only one for the year,” said University of Delaware Associate Policy Scientist Thomas J. Fernsler, also known as “Dr. 13”. It was 1987, when Friday 13th sparked Fernsler’s interest due to the number of times it appeared on the calendar.
Sometimes depending on the yearly date patterns, Friday the 13th is likely to pop up on the calendar more than once. For an example, if you have one in September then three months later you’ll get one in December too according to Fernsler. The same is true when Friday the 13th appears in April and when that happens the date will re-appear in July. The same goes for March and November as well as January and October in a non leap year.
2015 is considered to be a unique year for those fascinated with Friday the 13th.
“This year is neat because three is the most number of Fridays (the 13th) that you can get in a calendar year,” Fernsler said. He explained that February and March have the same date patterns that you’ll see in November, which is why Friday will appear three times this year.
Fernsler said this situation with February, March and November having a Friday the 13th will not happen again until 2026.
However you may recall Friday the 13th appearing on the calendar three times three years ago.
“The only other way that can occur is once every 28 years. In 2012, January had a Friday the 13th, but because it was a leap year, it forced April to also have a Friday the 13th date and April and July always have the same date pattern so July had one and that’s the closet that you can get three,” Fernsler said. The next leap year that will happen again is in 2040. Got that? Mark it down.
So does that mean you should be superstitious?
“I find that most people just look at it like a historical superstition. We’ve had it for so long and people are just used to recognizing Friday the 13th,” said Fernsler who offered to share some fun facts about Friday the 13th.
FRIDAY THE 13TH FUN FACTS:
One fact is that Fidel Castro was born on Friday August 13th 1926.
“So you can make whatever connection you’d like,” Fernsler said.
Another fact that Fernsler would expect people to raise their eyebrows with suspicion is the fact that former NFL player Dan Marino who is “still called the best quarterback to never win the super bowl” wore the number 13 on his uniform his entire career with the Miami Dolphins. Marino also sported the number on his jersey when he was a quarterback with the Pittsburgh Panthers as a college student. But what’s extremely ironic to Fernsler is the September 2000 Hurricane that surfaced during the halftime ceremony in which Marino’s jersey was retired.
Fernsler also pointed out the quote, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes” that was written by Benjamin Franklin in a letter to a friend dated Friday November 13th 1789.
Our coincidences of facts include the movie Apollo 13. According to Fernsler, the movie producers missed references to the number 13. It’s known that the mission number was Apollo 13 and the lift off time was at 2:13 pm eastern standard time on April 11th. It’s also recorded that the rocket launch in Houston, TX central time was 13:13 military time and the date of the explosion happened on April 13th. But Fernsler said screen writers missed two other connections to the number 13. First, they missed the rocket was launched from pad 39 which is the third multiple of 13 and they missed the numeric launch date of April 11th 1970. If the numeric numbers were added Fernsler said you’ll get thirteen.
“One of the other fascinating things to me is about Franklin Roosevelt, who was probably the most superstitious presidents we’ve ever had. He was particularly superstitious about the number 13,” Fernsler said.
According to Fernsler, the former president was afraid of leaving for a trip any 13th day of the month and wasn’t too thrilled about having a guest list of 13 people either. Fernsler even believes it’s ironic that Roosevelt possible escaped death on Friday the 13th since he died on the afternoon of Thursday April 12th 1945.
“I’m just having fun with this and some of the connections that I can make are probably stretching things, but there are some connections I think are pretty cool,” Fernsler said.