Dr. Marshall Wingfield, of Memphis, Tennessee, president of West Tennessee Historical Society, wrote:
"Friday should be a holiday in America, instead of being as suspect as the number 13.
"On Friday, Aug. 3, 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from the port of Palos, Spain, on his great voyage of discovery.
"On Friday, Oct. 12, 1492, he discovered land.
"On Friday, Nov. 22, 1493, he landed at Espanola on his second voyage to America.
"On Friday, June 12, 1494, he discovered the mainland of South America.
"On Friday, March 5, 1496, Henry VIII gave John Cabot his commission to pursue the discovery of America which resulted in the finding of North America.
"On Friday, Sept. 7, 1565, Mendez founded St. Augustine, Florida.
"On Friday, Nov. 10, 1620, the Mayflower reached the harbor of Provincetown.
"On Friday, Dec. 22, 1620, the Pilgrim fathers landed at Plymouth Rock.
"On Friday, Feb. 22, 1732, George Washington was born.
"On Friday, June 16,1775, Bunker Hill was seized and fortified.
On Friday, Oct. 17, 177, Burgoyne surrendered at Saratoga.
"On Friday, Sept. 22, 1780, Benedict Arnold's treason was discovered.
"On Friday, Oct. 19, 1781, Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown.
"On Friday, July 7, 1776, a motion was made by John Adams, in the Continental Congress, that the United States are and ought to be independent.'"
I know that this scholarly preacher, a friend of mine, did not forget that triskaidekaphobia, fear of the number 13, is a reality.
On Friday, Nov. 13, 1931, the liner Aquitania was scheduled to sail from New York to Liverpool. Scores of passengers registered hysterical complaints—and the ship's officials postponed departure until after midnight.
In French Lick, Indiana (pop. 2,000), a few years ago, the town fathers officially decreed that all black cats had to wear bells on Friday, the 13th. The reason was to ease the strain on the citizenry, who were scared silly having black cats cross their paths on that day of all days.
The effects of Friday, the 13th are staggering. Many people will not close business deals on that day. Some will not even go to work. Some will not eat in restaurants or go shopping. The result is that a minimum of $250 million is lost to business, researchers say, whenever a Friday falls on the 13th of the month.
Friday has been the source of superstitions for centuries. Oddly, the Bible is a source of superstition about Friday. Tradition has it that Eve tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit on Friday, that Noah's flood began on a Friday, that God sent confusion to the builders of the tower of Babel on Friday, that Jesus was crucified on Friday.
During the middle ages, criminals were always hanged on Fridays.
Triskaidekaphobers know that thousands of brides get married on Friday, the 13th, some with thirteen wedding attendants—and live happily ever after.
Glancing at American history, we see that the first election in North America took place on Friday, the 13th, George Washington assumed command of the Revolutionary Army on Friday, the 13th, and the construction of the White House began on Friday, the 13th.
Now take out a dollar bill, and look at the back. At the left you see a truncated pyramid that has thirteen steps. On the right, you will see an eagle. In its left claw it is holding thirteen arrows, in its right claw a branch with thirteen leaves and thirteen berries. Above the eagle are thirteen stars. All these are, of course, symbols of the thirteen original colonies. "Nuff sed!"