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11 Days Historically Unluckier Than Friday the 13th

You might have been extra cautious on Friday the 13th, but really you should be on high alert on these days that are actually more unlucky.

Red push pin on calendar friday the 13th day of the monthClaudiu_Zaharia/Getty Images

Unlucky days

March 13th falls on a Friday this year. And many of us superstitious types will do our best to stay safe. But there are days on the calendar that have seen far more than their fair share of rotten stuff happening, according to OnThisDay.com. If you believe in superstitions, you want to avoid these strange things that can bring you bad luck.

titanic_unlucky daysS.Bachstroem/Shutterstock

April 14


1865: Abraham Lincoln is fatally shot while attending a play at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.
1912: The RMS Titanic hits an iceberg in the North Atlantic ocean.
1935: Texas and Oklahoma are hit by one of the worst massive sandstorms of all time, creating the area known as the “Dust Bowl.” Many people die, and countless others are forced to relocate.
1944: The first group of Jewish citizens transported from Athens, Greece arrives at Auschwitz.
1944: The massive freighter SS Fort Stikine explodes while docked in Bombay, India, killing hundreds of people.
1972: Twenty-four bombs go off across Northern Ireland, the work of the Provisional Irish Republican Army.
1986: A massive hailstorm hits Gopalganj, Bangladesh. Ninety-two people are killed; this storm also holds the record for the largest hailstone ever recorded: a chunk of ice weighing 2.2 pounds.
1999: The National Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, accidentally bombs a convoy of civilian vehicles after mistaking them for Serbian military vehicles, killing 73 Albanian refugees.
2013: Eleven people die and 50 others are injured in a hotel fire in Xiangyang, China.
2017: A Meethotamulla rubbish dump collapses onto houses in Colombo, Sri Lanka killing 26 people.
2019: 11 tornadoes hit U.S. southern states killing eight people in Mississippi, Texas, and Louisiana.
Here’s the story behind why the number 13 scares people.

istock/pictore

April 20


1587: Queen Elizabeth I of England signs death warrant for her cousin, Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots.
1888: 246 are reported killed by hail in Moradabad, India.
1889: Adolph Hitler is born.
1916: Weeghman Park (soon to be Wrigley Field) opens in Chicago. Cubs still won’t be able to win a World Series.
1920: Tornadoes kill 219 in Alabama and Mississippi.
1999: Columbine High School massacre. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold kill 13 people and injure 24 others before committing suicide.
2010: Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion kills 11 and causes rig to sink, initiating a massive oil discharge in the Gulf of Mexico.
2012: Plane crash near Islamabad, Pakistan, kills 127 people.
2013: 193 people are killed and 11,826 are injured after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake strikes Lushan County, China.
2013: 5 snowboarders are killed by an avalanche in Loveland Pass, Colorado.
You never want to keep these unlucky things in your home.

istock/TwilightEye

April 24

1184 BC: The Greeks enter Troy using the Trojan Horse (traditional date).
1915: Over 1.5 million Armenians are massacred by Turks.
1960: An earthquake strikes Iran, killing 500.
1971: The play Frank Merriwell opens and closes on the same day at the Longacre Theater in New York.
1980: An American military operation to save 52 hostages in Iran fails. Eight soldiers die when their helicopters collide.
2013: A garment manufacturing building collapses in Bangladesh killing 256 people and injuring 1,000.

If you fear Friday the 13th, this is what science says about you.

istock/Tolimir

June 28


1748: Rioting after public execution in Amsterdam kills over 200.
1846: The saxophone is patented by Antoine Joseph Sax. Apartment dwellers will never sleep again.
1887: The Indianapolis baseball team suffers the most lopsided shutout at the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies, 24-0.
1914: The Archduke of Austria, Franz Ferdinand, and his wife Sophie are assassinated in Sarajevo by a Serbian nationalist. World War I begins a few months later.
1941: German and Romanian soldiers kill 11,000 Jews in Kishinev.
1960: A state record 10.40″ of rainfall in Dunmor, Kentucky over a 24-hour period.
1965: President Lyndon Johnson authorizes the first American ground combat forces in Vietnam. The last troops will leave eight years later.
1975: Golfer Lee Trevino is struck by lightning at the Western Open, in Illinois.
1987: Baseball player Don Baylor sets career hit-by-pitch mark at 244.
2018: A gunman attacks the office of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, killing nine people.
This is the science behind why people believe in superstitions.

Enola Gay, US Air Force B-29 bomberDan Thornberg/shutterstock

August 6


1890: The first-ever execution by electric chair occurs at Auburn Prison in New York.
1914: Austria-Hungary declares war on Russia, pitting two of the major powers of World War I against one another.
1945: The Enola Gay drops the first-ever atom bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, instantly killing 80,000 people.
1951: 4,800 people die when a massive typhoon hits the coast of Manchuria in northeast Asia.
1964: The world’s oldest tree, known as “Prometheus,” is cut down by a graduate student conducting climate research. The tree, located in Great Basin National Park, was around 4,900 years old.
1997: A Korean Air flight crashes on the island of Guam in the Pacific Ocean. Of the 254 people aboard, only 26 survive.
2013: Twenty-five people are killed and 60 others are injured when a series of car bombs detonate in Baghdad, Iraq.

istock/PuiYuen Ng

August 15

483 BC: Buddha dies. The date is considered so unlucky in Japan that couples are advised to avoid being married on that day.
1040: King Duncan I of Scotland killed in battle against his first cousin and rival Macbeth. Although not murdered in his sleep as per Shakespeare, the latter does succeed him as King.
1635: The first recorded American hurricane hits the Plymouth Colony.
1914: A male servant of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright murders seven people in the architect’s Wisconsin home, Taliesin, and burns the living quarters to the ground.
1950: An 8.6 earthquake in India kills up to 30,000.
2007: An 8.0-magnitude earthquake off the Pacific coast devastates Peru, killing 514 and injuring 1,090.

2018: A boat overturned in floods near the Nile in South Sudan killing 25 people. Most of them were school children.
These are the unluckiest criminals ever.

istock/caraheidt

September 1


1482: Tatars plunder Kiev, Ukraine.
1689: Russia begins taxing men’s beards. Brooklyn Hipsters never recover.
1859: A solar superstorm affects electrical telegraph service.
1918: The baseball season ends early due to WWI.
1923: A 7.9 earthquake strikes Tokyo and Yokohama, killing 142,000.
1930: New York State Supreme Court Justice Joseph Crater disappears amid scandal, never to be found.
1939: World War II begins when Germany invades Poland. Over 60 million people worldwide will be killed.
1942: American Federal judge upholds detention of Japanese-Americans.
1962: 12,000 die in an earthquake in western Iran.
1974: A train accident in Yugoslavia kills 121 people.
1983: Korean Boeing 747 Flight 007 strays into Siberia and is shot down by a Soviet jet.
Don’t want to fall into the unlucky trap this Friday the 13th? These are things that lucky people do that you don’t.

fire of london_unlucky daysAntoine Buchet/Shutterstock

September 2


1666: The Great Fire of London begins, spreading to destroy much of the city.
1792: The “September Massacres” begin during the French Revolution; over the next four days, mobs attack prisons throughout Paris, killing over 1000 prisoners in total.
1935: A Category 5 hurricane touches down on the Florida Keys. At the time, it is the most intense hurricane to ever hit the United States.
1944: Anne Frank is deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp.
1949: A fire lasting for 18 hours sweeps Chongqing, China, killing over 1000 people.
1956: In Mahbubnagar, India, a rail bridge collapses, causing two train cars to fall into the river; 121 people are killed.
1992: An earthquake strikes Nicaragua, killing 116 people.
1998: Swissair Flight 111 crashes in Nova Scotia. All 229 people on board are killed.
2018: A major fire at the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro destroys the majority of its 20 million artifacts.
2019: A diving boat catches fire off the coast of California, killing 34 people that were asleep on board.

istock/Andrew Cribb

September 11


1649: Massacre of Drogheda, Ireland; Oliver Cromwell kills 3,000 royalists.
1789: Alexander Hamilton appointed first Secretary of Treasury—227 years later, you won’t be able to get a seat to see his musical.
1857: Mountain Meadows Massacre. Mormons dressed as Indians murder 120 colonists in Utah.
1881: Triple landslides bury Elm, a village in Switzerland.
1939: British submarine Triton torpedoes British submarine Oxley.
1943: Jewish ghettos of Minsk and Lida Belorussia liquidated.
1963: Typhoon Gloria strikes Taiwan killing 330, with $17.5 million damage.
1974: Baseball fans are forced to sit through a 25-inning, seven-hour game until the Cardinals finally beat the Mets, 4-3.
1986: The Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its biggest one-day decline ever (up till then), plummeting 86.61 points.
2001: Terrorists hijack and crash passenger planes into New York’s World Trade Towers and the Pentagon. Another plane crashes in Pennsylvania after passengers fight off the hijackers. Nearly 3,000 are killed.
2012: The U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is stormed, looted and burned down, killing five people, including the U.S. ambassador.
2015: A large crane collapses killing more than 100 people in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Don’t miss the history lessons your teacher lied to you about.

istock/Joe Potato Photo

October 29


1913: Floods in El Salvador kill thousands.
1929: “Black Tuesday” Stock Market crash triggers the Great Depression.
1942: Nazis murder 16,000 Jews in Pinsk, Soviet Union.
1945: First ballpoint pen goes on sale, 57 years after it is patented. Unlucky pants prepare for years of blue pen leaks.
1960: A plane carrying Cal State’s football team crashes, killing 16.
1998: Hurricane Mitch, the second deadliest Atlantic hurricane in history (over 11,000 killed), made landfall in Honduras.
1999: The deadliest Indian Ocean tropical cyclone hits Orissa, India, killing 15,000.
2011: A record-breaking snowstorm in the northeastern United States leaves nearly 2 million residents without power for more than 36 hours.
2012: Hurricane Sandy makes landfall in New Jersey resulting in 110 deaths and $50 billion in damage.
2018: Lion Air flight JT 610 crashes into the sea just after takeoff, killing all 189 onboard.

istock/Gregory Olsen

December 7


43BC: Marcus Tullius Cicero (b. 106 BC), Roman orator and politician assassinated.
1941: Imperial Japanese Navy attacks the American fleet at Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hawaii, killing 2,403. The next day, the United States enters World War II.
1946: Fire at Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta kills 119.
1983: Two jets collided at Madrid Airport, killing 93.
1988: A 6.9 earthquake in Spitak, Armenia leaves 25,000 dead and 5 million homeless.
1993: The Long Island Rail Road massacre. Passenger Colin Ferguson murders six people and injures 19 others on a commuter train in Nassau County, New York.
While all of these days are unlucky, lots of bad things still happened on Friday the 13th. Like these odd and creepy things.

Originally Published on Farm & Ranch Living

Andy Simmons
Andy Simmons is a features editor at Reader's Digest.