One example why thirteen might be seen as unlucky is because of the Apollo 13 space mission, which launched at 13:13 CST. The mission almost met with complete disaster when an oxygen tank blew on April 13, 1970, but through incredible resourcefulness, the crew survived. In this case, thirteen seems more like a number for perseverance and ingenuity, not bad luck.
Thirteen seems like a positive number in the history of the United States. There are thirteen stripes on the U.S. flag representing the original thirteen colonies. On the one dollar bill there are 13 bars on the shield, 13 leaves on the olive branch, 13 arrows, 13 stars, 13 steps on the pyramid and even 13 letters in both ANNUIT COEPTIS and E PLURIBUS UNUM, and I’m sure many more thirteens that I have yet to find. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery.
At Colgate University, the number is actually considered lucky. The school was founded in 1819, as the story goes, by “13 men with 13 dollars, and 13 prayers.” The school address is 13 Oak Drive and the zip code there for Hamilton, NY is 13346, which can be thought of as 13 and 3 + 4 + 6, which is another 13. One of the a cappella groups there is known as the Colgate 13.
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