Singer Taylor Swift may be known for her song “22,” but in real life she’s quite fond of the number 13. Swift, whose birthday is Dec. 13, draws the number on her hand before every show, she once told MTV.
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For some people, the number 13 is a big, big deal. The controversial numeral has generated especially strong feelings for these folks in particular:
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New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez can be seen wearing his No. 13 jersey. It seems to have worked out OK for A-Rod (who has a World Series ring and got to date Cameron Diaz).
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America’s 32nd president had more than a mild case of triskaidekaphobia, or fear of the number 13. His fear was so intense that he refused to travel on the 13th of any month or host a meal with 13 guests. "If he had a cancellation and it looked as if there might be 13 people to lunch, he invited his secretary to join them so there wouldn't be 13," said Stuart Vyse, a psychology professor and author of "Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition."
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The French emperor is another one who was said to have been afraid of traveling on the 13th day of the month. Luckily for him, he managed to fill the other 28 to 30 days of the month with enough conquering that it all balanced out.
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A number of airlines, including AirTran, Lufthansa and Air France, do not have a 13th row on their planes. On top of that, many airports skip 13th gates.
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The Savoy Hotel in London will put a statue of a black cat at any table that only has 13 guests. That’s one adorable solution to a superstition!
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Although this wasn’t personally handed down by Formula One owner and chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, there’s an understanding that no race car in the FIA Formula One World Championship Entry List can bear the number 13.
Unlike FDR, this former U.S. president loved the number 13 and considered it his lucky number. He liked the number so much that dropped his first name “Thomas” as a teenager because the letters in “Woodrow Wilson” added up to 13, according to "The Encyclopedia of Superstitions" by Richard Webster.
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The communist revolutionary and former president of Cuba was born on Aug. 13, 1926. Yep, that was a Friday.
The rapper and actor died at age 25 on Sept. 13, 1996 after being shot multiple times in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. His fans grimly noted that his death occurred on Friday the 13th.