Friday the 13th in Chicago Feb 13, 2015 0:00:16 GMT -5
Post by Joanna on Feb 13, 2015 0:00:16 GMT -5
Chicagoans certainly are strange about Friday the 13th .... And that includes the editors of the Tribune, who have exhaustively chronicled the odd occurrences on this day and date. For example, on Friday, May 13, 1932, a North Side man reported that 13 golf clubs and 13 balls had been stolen from his car parked at 13th and Wabash. Not exactly shocking, but somehow deemed newsworthy. Even the lack of news made it into print in a 1939 Tribune story that started: "Ho hum! Another Friday the 13th. And nothing much in the way of bad luck happened. ..." Fast forward to 1980, when Tribune critic Gene Siskel hated the film Friday the 13th so much that he gave away the movie's ending to discourage people from seeing it. Siskel's review ran on Monday the 12th, so it wasn't one of those odd things that happened on Friday the 13th. Here, however, are 13 happenings on that day and date in the Chicago area. Bad luck? You be the judge.
April 13, 1860. It's a remarkably slow day for crime – just two "little cases" handled by police in a city of about 110,000 people, according to the Tribune, which seems to have wished for more arrests. "Our city is very moral, or the police are not very sharp," the Tribune sniffs.
Oct. 13, 1871. As contributions pour into Chicago less than a week after the Great Fire, Mayor Roswell Mason orders that all funds be administered through the Chicago Relief and Aid Society. This might seem like a good idea, but advocates for the poor think otherwise. The relief group is picky about who gets aid, showing favoritism to skilled workers and the previously affluent, and leaves hundreds of thousands of dollars unspent years after the fire.
Nov. 13, 1908. Richard Nash, a patrolman at the West 13th Street station, is fired and blames his bad luck on Friday the 13th, noting that he was hired on Friday the 13th too.
March 13, 1931. Bad day for Scarface: A grand jury indicts Al Capone on a charge of income tax evasion.
Aug. 13, 1937. About 1,500 boys and girls march through the Loop carrying signs such as "Friday the 13th is unlucky for syphilis" as part of a campaign to stamp out venereal diseases.
Dec. 13, 1940. The Anti-Superstition Society of Chicago meets for dinner in Room 13 of the Merchants & Manufacturers Club. Each banquet table seats 13. The club president opens the session by breaking a mirror, and guests end the night by departing under a ladder with an open umbrella on top.
Sept. 13, 1963. A fire at Mercy Hospital forces a surgical team to terminate brain surgery and close up the patient as firefighters battle a blaze 50 feet away and smoke enters the operating room. "We had opened part of the skull, but hadn't reached the brain, when we heard the alarm bells," says Dr. David Voris. No deaths are reported.
July 13, 1979. The American League informs White Sox owner Bill Veeck that a game that was called off because of the previous night's Disco Demolition disturbance will be considered a forfeit.
Aug. 13, 1982. Two drivers celebrating their birthdays – both born on August13, 1938 (a Saturday) – collide in Des Plaines just after 6:13 a.m. on Friday the 13th. One of them has "13" in his address, and he gets away without a ticket, unlike the other driver, whose address has no "13."
May 13, 1994. The Bulls' Scottie Pippen sits out the final 1.8 seconds of a playoff game against the New York Knicks with the score tied because he's miffed that coach Phil Jackson has drawn up a play giving the last shot to Toni Kukoc. The Bulls win when Kukoc hits the shot.
Jan. 13, 2006. FBI agents arrest "Joey the Clown" Lombardo in west suburban Elmwood Park. The mob boss, on the lam for nine months, is apprehended after suffering from an abscessed tooth and going to his dentist, who turns out to be an FBI tipster.
Feb. 13, 2009. Mayor Richard M. Daley's administration seals a deal to lease Chicago's parking meter operation for 75 years in exchange for an upfront payment of more than $1 billion — an arrangement now infamous as a boondoggle.
June 13, 2014. Donald Trump answers complaints by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin that the large new sign on Trump's building is tasteless. The Donald insists that "everybody loves it" because "we're probably the hottest brand there is."
Source: Mark Jacob, The Chicago Tribune, February 12, 2015.