Eight surprisingly good things that happened on Friday the 13th

Despite negative connotations, the day and date have seen some positive accomplishments in the past.

AP/Universal Pictures
Director Alfred Hitchcock was born on Friday, August 13, 1899.

Friday the 13th has a bad reputation, but perhaps it’s not deserved.

With friggatriskaidekaphobia, or fear of Friday the 13th, being one of the most widespread and constant superstitions worldwide, it is no wonder that we often hear about the spooky and unfortunate occurrences that seem to come up every time the 13th of the month falls on a Friday.

But thankfully, the day also boasts a variety of accomplishments and positive happenings. Here are some of the most positive events that took place on Friday the 13ths in history:

1. The United States adopted its first equal employment act.

On October 13, 1967, President Lyndon Johnson signed Executive Order #11375, which states the government cannot discriminate its employment practices based on gender. The previous order listed race, creed, color, and national origin. Johnson amended the order to include sex, a huge step for equal employment rights and gender equality.

2. “[B]ut in the world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.”

Benjamin Franklin wrote this famous quote in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy dated Friday, November 13, 1789. He was informing the fellow inventor that the US Constitution was completed, and the quote in its entirety reads, "Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in the world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.”

3. The HOLLYWOOD sign was born.

The famous sign, which consists of 50-foot-tall letters on the side of Mount Lee, was dedicated in the Hollywood Hills on July 13, 1923. Originally spelling HOLLYWOODLAND, the sign was an advertisement for real estate development. The last four letters were removed in 1949, and the remaining letters are now a landmark recognized around the world.

4. Actor Steve Buscemi, director Alfred Hitchcock, and actresses Mary Kate and Ashley Olson were all born on Friday the 13ths.

Buscemi was born December 13, 1957 in Brooklyn, New York, and has been labelled by The Telegraph as “one of the most recognised faces in cinema.” Alfred Hitchcock, the “master of suspense,” was also born on Friday the 13th, on August 13, 1899. Famous twins Mary Kate and Ashley Olson, were born June 13, 1988. The pair first captured hearts in “Full House.”

5. The 2004 Summer Olympics returned to the birthplace of the ancient and modern Olympics.

The opening ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympics took place in Athens, Greece on Friday, August 13. At the time, the Games were the largest to date with over 201 countries participating and 3.9 million people watching across the world.

6. The first female flight instructor was licensed.

Evelyn Pinckert Kilgore became the first female flight instructor on October 13, 1939. The aeronautics field continues to be predominantly male, but Ms. Kilgore was one of the first women to challenge and break that barrier.

7. Prince Harry arrived at the South Pole.

The prince and the rest of his Walking With the Wounded charity team finished their expedition and reached the South Pole on Friday, December 13, 2013. About to reach their destination, Prince Harry wrote in his blog: “[W]e get to the South Pole on Friday 13th - unlucky for some, lucky for us,” according to The Telegraph.

8. Every Friday the 13th is followed by a Saturday.

Ultimately, the good news is that Friday the 13th always signals the coming weekend. Friday the 13th is no more likely to have bad things happen than any other day, studies have found. Psychologists say that the superstition continues due to selective amnesia, that is, our tendency to look for things that verify our beliefs and forget the things that contradict us.

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