by James S. Borthwick
It all started with Lefthander Magazine, a magazine that was published by Lefthanders International, an former organization based in Topeka, Kansas that was suppose to raise awareness of the needs of left-handed people.
It began in 1975 and ran bi-monthly until the late 90s. I knew something was wrong when they couldn’t even spell THE word that identifies us, … left-hander, properly. It was a pathetic attempt and poorly thought out publication.
When you have no competition then you begin to think that you own the place. And that’s exactly what they did. Part of that was the ignorant way they tried to establish a special day for left-handers. A nice idea that was executed poorly. In fact it looks more like the work of a right-handed saboteur than a concerned left-hander.
I was a subscriber and although the publication had some valuable information and interviews it also contained an awful lot of misinformation. If you had something like a book to sell in their magazine you were in for trouble. All you had to do was pay the advertising fee and the editor saw fit to criticize and berate your product and therefore diminishing your product in the eyes of the subscribers. I personally spoke with an author that had to discontinue marketing his book due to a very poor evaluation by the editor. I had a copy of the book and found it very informative and interesting. Now this man’s dreams were crushed.
This same publisher was responsible for the creation of Lefthanders Day. according to his wife the publisher thought that having a special day for left-handers should fall on Friday the 13th. Friday August 13 1976 to be exact.
The fear of the number 13 has been given a scientific name: “triskaidekaphobia“; and on analogy to this the fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskevidekatriaphobia, from the Greek words Paraskeví (Παρασκευή, meaning “Friday”), and dekatreís (δεκατρείς, meaning “thirteen”).
Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the fear of Friday the 13th, which is considered to be a day of bad luck in a number of western cultures. In Romania, Greece and some areas of Spain and Latin America, Tuesday the 13th is similarly considered unlucky.
Friday the 13 th (Aug. 13) a day, always to be associated with superstition and bad luck, is also a quasi – acknowledged day of little recognition in the mid U.S. Of ALL the days in the year that don‘t have any negative stigma attached to them, why in the world would anyone who has an interest in left–handers, want to associate the most fearful day of the year, with left–handedness?
August 13 1948 During the Berlin Airlift, the weather over Berlin becomes so stormy that American planes have their most difficult day landing supplies. They deem it ‘Black Friday’.
August 13 1961: Border between East and West Berlin is sealed off by East Germans. Berlin was divided by a barbed wire fence to halt the flight of refugees. The Berlin Wall began.
August 13 1963 A 17 year-old Buddhist monk burns himself to death in Saigon, South Vietnam.
Aug. 13 1969, was also a highly publicized day, the day they buried Sharon Tate!
August 13 1974: The last United States troops leave Vietnam
August 13 1989 The wreckage of a plane that carried U.S. congressman Mickey Leland and others on a humanitarian mission is found on a mountainside in Ethiopia; there are no survivors.
August 13 is also Fidel Castros’ birthday!
Most people think the number 13 is unlucky (triskaidekaphobia), and the proof is, that over 21,000,000 people are afraid, and “It’s been estimated that [U.S] $800 or $900 million is lost in business and travel on Friday the 13th (paraskevidekatriaphobia)! To associate left-handers like this feels like treason. We as left-handers deserve much better than to be connected to this ridiculous event.
This is the kind of ignorance we should all try very hard to ignore.
It makes it harder to ignore when other left-handers help perpetuate this kind of ignorance! Don’t pay any attention to these right-handed disguised as left-handed organizations, as a matter of fact the company that started all this is now out of business (thankfully). Unfortunately blind followers are still trying to give this non-event some credibility. Common sense suggests otherwise. Why would anyone give left-handedness a harder time to strive for acceptance than by adding the negativity of “Friday the 13th” to it? It doesn’t make sense. Real left-handers are smart enough not to be fooled by this well intended but silly day.