Check the date of this post Friday November 13. A special day for Triskaidekaphobes, people who fear the number 13. Traditionally, in the Western world any Friday the 13th is considered unlucky. Are you freaked out? If you are, you’re not alone. Recorded fears start as early as the 19th century, but some say the practice  may date all the way to the middle ages.

Today many people avoid trips, traveling and any number of activities- with an estimated 80 million dollars lost in revenue in a single day. Considering there is at least one and as many as three Friday the 13ths in a given year, that’s pretty significant.

This post isn’t about freaking out people dislike the most feared date of the year though, it’s about exploring the past! In the past 115 years there have been sixteen Friday November 13ths – a lot of which we can explore in the BC Historical Newspapers –and use them to discover cool features on Open Collections!

To see any of the papers in more detail – click on the image to go to the listing.

First up: The daily newspaper the Boundary Creek Times on Friday November 13, 1908.


The Friday the 13th unluckiness is in full effect with the headline “Yale-Cariboo Gone Wrong”

That type is a little small. You can toggle to the full text by clicking the paper image on the upper left hand side.

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Even better, compare the type and the paper picture by clicking the open page diagram!

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Looks like after some close reading not too much is wrong– just some everyday political corruption

Friday November 13, 1914  shows the first world war is had begun. The cartoon in the center of The Western Call has an interesting take on modernity too.


Note the King’s Speech in the bottom corner!

If you want to save the page click on the download button with the arrow on the upper left hand corner. It will only download the page you are on, not the whole paper.

By Friday November 13, 1925 things have cooled down. The Creston Review reports that people were able to attend whilst parties – as detailed in the upper righthand corner.


Checkout the Creston Milk at 10c a quart! What a steal of the deal!

Last bust not least take a quick peek the Ubyssey from Friday November 13, 1953. The anti-red commission makes the headlines – suggesting the Cold War and fear of communists was in full effect.


Some other cultures point to Tuesday the 13th (Hispanic and Greek) or Friday the 17th (Italian) as bad luck- but that’s a post for another time.

Happy Friday the 13th!

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