1- The famous quote of Benjamin Franklin about taxes certainty
“Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Benjamin Franklin wrote this words on Friday 13 November, 1789, in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, an 18th-century French physicist and one of the major contributors to the Encyclopédie by Diderot. The famous sentence survived the test of time and even seems to be more accurate today than ever.
Why is it important? Because we know now that taxes are considered a pain in the neck for a long, long, long time.
2- French-Jewish artillery Captain Alfred Dreyfus, wrongly convicted of espionage, resumed military duty
In 1894, French Intelligence intercepted messages transmitted by a spy from the French military to the Germans. On a vague description, combined with conjecture and anti-semitism, it was decided the spy was a Jew from Alsace, Alfred Dreyfus. He was tried, convicted and sent to Devil’s Island. His wife and brother worked on getting him a retrial. In the face of evidence pointing to Dreyfus’ innocence, he was still found guilty of treason again. Ten days of public outcry caused President Emile Loubet to pardon Dreyfus. He was exonerated on July 12, 1906 and he reentered the army the next day with the promotion to the rank of major.
Why is it important? Because this case is often considered a symbol of modern and universal iniquity or unfairness in the name of reason of State. It is also a striking example of a judicial error hardly rectified, with the press and public opinion playing major parts.
3- The birth of Fidel Castro
Photo: Daily SunFidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was born on Friday 13 August, 1926. He was a Cuban revolutionary and politician who governed the Republic of Cuba as Prime Minister from 1959 to 1976 and then as President from 1976 to 2008. He died November 25, 2016. Fidel Castro established the first communist state in the Western Hemisphere after leading an overthrow of the military dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in 1959.
Why is this important? Fidel was considered an enemy for the USA. He defeated the US-backed Batista regime described as tyrannical military dictatorship and turned a country 20 miles off the coast of Florida “communist”, which no doubt infuriated the Americans. Castro fought capitalism and stood against the giant America.
4- A grand jury indicts Al Capone on a charge of income tax evasion
Born in 1899 in Brooklyn, New York, to poor immigrant parents, Al Capone went on to become the most infamous gangster in American history. He is also known as Scarface. In 1920 during the height of Prohibition, Capone’s multi-million dollar Chicago operation in bootlegging, prostitution and gambling, dominated the organized crime scene. In March 1930, Capone was listed as the number one “Public Enemy”. On Friday 13 March, 1931, he was indicted by a grand jury, on a charge of income tax evasion related to failing to file a return from 1924.
Why is this important? Because the guy is a legend!
5- Evelyn Pinckert Kilgore received the first flight instructor license issued to a woman
On Friday October 13, 1939, Evelyn Pinckert Kilgore crashed through the glass ceiling with an airplane. After completing 200 hours of flight, she was the first woman to receive a light instructor license. Evelyn even trained pilots in California during World War II. Unfortunately the information available on the woman are limited.
Why is it important? Because we can see the glass ceiling has not moved an inch from 1939 to 2017.
6- Democracy was reclaimed in its cradle
On 6 April 1941, Germany came to the aid of Italy and invaded Greece through Bulgaria and Yugoslavia. Greek and British Commonwealth troops fought back but were overwhelmed. The three-and-a-half year long occupation of Greece, the cradle of democracy, ended on Friday, October 13, 1944 when troops from America, Russia and Britain moved in to liberate Athens from the Germans.
Why is it important? It is history.
7- The First (official) step towards equal opportunity
Former US President Lyndon Johnson signed an executive order on Friday, October 13, 1967 meant to rid the US government of gender discrimination.
Why is it important? No matter what we think or say, America has been the pacesetter for centuries.
8- The release of the legendary Super Mario Bros
The most famous video games of all time was released on a fireball-throwing Friday September 13, 1985, in Japan. Super Mario Bros is a major reference in the domain of video games.
Why is it important? Ask every person who was a kid in late 1980s-early 1990s!
9- Computers across Britain were hit by “Friday 13th” virus
On Friday January 13, 1989, a virus affected hundreds of IBM computers across Great Britain deleting program files. The virus came to be known as both “Friday the 13th” and “Jerusalem”. It was allegedly created in Israel in 1988 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Jewish state. The virus was supposed to activate itself every Friday the 13th and all the programs and files that were being used would be infected and eliminated.
Why is it important? “Friday 13th” is one of the oldest computer viruses that caused massive computer infections.
10- NASA announces evidence of water on the moon
After studying data collected and relayed by the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), NASA chose Friday 13 November, 2009, to share evidence that the moon isn’t as desolate as we thought it to be. It is believed that water arrived with an impacting object, like a comet or water-laden asteroid.
Why is it important? Scientists believed for such a long time that water could not be found anywhere except on Earth.
11- You will discover paraskevidekatriaphobia today, Friday 13th
Paraskevidekatriaphobia is nothing but the fear of Friday 13th. The word is derived from the Greek words “paraskeví” meaning “Friday” and “dekatreís” meaning “thirteen.” Another term used to refer to the irrational fear of Friday the 13th is “friggatriskaidekaphobia” with “Frigga” referring to the Norse goddess and seer Frigg, after whom Friday is named in English. People with this phobia often refuse to leave their homes on this day. They display signs of extreme anxiety or nervousness as the date approaches. Often they believe that something terrible or evil is going to happen.
Why is it important? Because that word is weird.
12- An asteroid will safely fly by the Earth
When 99942 Apophis was discovered in 2004, it was thought to have a small chance of colliding with Earth. Since then, scientists have revised their findings which show that there is absolutely no risk of the asteroid impacting the Earth or the Moon.
Why is it important? You have to be ready for the show on Friday 13 April, 2029.
13- A Friday is always followed by a Saturday, even Friday 13th
No need to say anything more!
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