If you’ve been avoiding ladders and being extra-careful around mirrors today, don’t worry, Friday 13th doesn’t necessarily deserve all the bad rep it gets.
One of the most common explanations for the origin of the date being associated with bad luck stems from the Bible, since there were 13 people at the Last Supper — Jesus and his 12 apostles. The Crucifixion took place on a Friday, and the two have been linked ever since.
According to Thomas Fernsler, a professor at the University of Delaware who has studied Friday the 13th extensively, Norse mythology also asserts that the god Loki went uninvited to a party of 12 other gods and caused the death of the most beloved one, Baldur. To this day, parties are wary of having 13 members, he says.
Of course, there’s no denying that a number of bad things have indeed happened on a Friday 13th – but it’s not all bad, honest.
Here are some nice things that took place on the day…
The first female flight instructor was licensed
On Friday October 13 , 1939, Evelyn Pinckert Kilgore received her flying instructors licence from the Civil Air Authority.
There isn’t much information about Pinckert Kilgore out there but Friday 13th was certainly a good day for her.
Prince Harry arrived at the South Pole while trekking with wounded veterans
Prince Harry and his fellow adventurers in the Walking With The Wounded expedition arrived at the South Pole on 13 December 2013.
Harry joined 12 injured servicemen and women from the UK, US and Commonwealth countries for the icy 200-mile trek.
The Hollywood sign was unveiled
Perhaps one of the most iconic views of Los Angeles, the Hollywood sign actually originally read “Hollywoodland” when it was unveiled on 13 July 1923.
The sign was actually only supposed to be temporary, as it was erected to advertise a local housing development, but has stood on Mount Lee ever since.
The ‘land’ part of the sign was removed in 1949 when the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce began a contract with the City of Los Angeles Parks Department to repair and rebuild the sign. It was agreed that the sign should reflect the entire area, rather than advertising the housing estate.
Athens was liberated from Axis forces
The Nazis invaded Greece in 1941 to help their allies, Italy, who had been fighting the Greeks since 1940. Beginning with the island of Crete in 1940, the entire country was occupied by June 1941.
Although the taking back of the capital was good news, the country was plunged into a civil war after its liberation, which went on until 1949.
You might be able to bag yourself a cheaper flight
Flight prices change according to demand and this is often lower on Friday 13th, meaning prices tend to be lower from many UK airports, according to flight comparison website Kayak.co.uk.
If you’re not superstitious, why not try bagging yourself a cheap weekend getaway?
If you need a bit of reassurance, the Aviation Safety Network analysed statistics on aircraft accidents and found that there were actually slightly fewer incidents than the daily average on Friday 13th.
Lots of famous people were born – to name a few…
The “Master of Suspense” is perhaps one of the most famous film directors of all time.
His best-known thrillers include Psycho, Rear Window and and North By Northwest.
Buscemi is known for playing oddball characters and has appeared on the big screen in the likes of Reservoir Dogs and Fargo, as well as on the small screen in The Sopranos, 30 Rock, Boardwalk Empire and Nurse Jackie.
Lesser known is his past as a fire fighter, including the fact that after 9/11, the Hollywood star rejoined his old unit to help search the ruins of the World Trade Centre.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
The fraternal twins made their screen debut aged just six months old and went on to have their own shows and films.
The pair are both now fashion designers.
Dennings made her screen debut in an episode of Sex and the City and went on star in a lead role in Two Broke Girls.
She has also appeared on the big screen in films including Thor and The 40-Year-Old Virgin.