Sunday, November 8, 2015

Friday and the Number 13, article in the New York Sun 1910

Friday and the Number 13, article in the New York Sun 1910

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“Friday" and the number “13" have long been held to be specially unlucky. This evil reputation came evidently from the last supper and crucifixion of the Savior.

At that memorial meal there were thirteen at the table, one of whom betrayed his Lord to a cruel death, while the Crucifixion occurred on Friday. These events were doubtless in due course ordained for the salvation of mankind, and they were the forerunners of beneficent results to the entire world, but it is no surprising fact that the atrocious acts by which they were brought to pass should have resulted in universal human reprobation.

Nevertheless, Friday has been a most fortunate and fateful day in the history of the New World, while 13 has been always the lucky number of the United States, so that while they may have been counted accursed in the Old World, they are identified with the most important and famous events in the New.

Let us give a little attention to the part that Friday has played in the history of our country.

It was on Friday, August 3, 1492, that Columbus sailed from Palos, Spain, on his voyage of discovery that gave a new hemisphere and the world's greatest free nation to mankind, and it was on Friday, October 12, of the same year that he made land in the New World. The voyage, with three small vessels that were scarcely more than yawl boats, was made at a time when the West Indian cyclones were most to be feared, but they sailed the unknown seas without a storm.

It was on Friday that Henry II of England gave a commission to John Cabot, which led to the discovery of North America.

It was on Friday that St. Augustine, the oldest town in the United States, was founded.

It was on Friday that the ship Mayflower, with the Pilgrims, landed at Plymouth, Mass.

it was on Friday that George Washington was born.

It was on Friday that the Declaration of American Independence was adopted.

It was on Friday that the British General Burgoyne and his army surrendered at Saratoga.

It was on Friday that the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown ended the war.

It is evident from this that Friday, so far from being an unlucky day in America, should be deemed most fortunate.

As to the number thirteen, it is closely identified with the very foundations of our great republic.

On the national flag were represented thirteen stripes and thirteen stars, to stand for the thirteen colonies that formed the infant nation. On the obverse of the national great seal is a spread eagle with thirteen stars around his head and thirteen arrows in one claw, while in the other he holds an olive branch with thirteen leaves. On the reverse is an unfinished pyramid, of which thirteen courses of masonry are laid, the balance to be added, while the national motto—E Pluribus Unum—meaning “one composed of many,” contains thirteen letters.

It is plain, therefore, that if Friday and the number 13 be symbols of misfortune and evil in the Old World, they signify just the opposite in the New.

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