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Photos: Friday The 13th With The Anti-Superstition Society Of Chicago In 1940

By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 13, 2013 4:00PM

Here at Chicagoist's Bridgeport headquarters there's been breaking of glass and spilling of salt this morning. That's nothing compared to what happened at a dinner hosted by the Anti-Superstition Society of Chicago on Dec. 13, 1940.

The irreverent send-up of superstitions featured guests dining at 13 tables, each seating 13, in Room 13 of the Merchants & Manufacturers Club of Chicago.

Here's how Life recounted the dinner.

Upon each rested an open umbrella, a bottle of bourbon and 13 copies of a poem called The Harlot. The speaker’s table was strewn with horseshoes, old keys, old shoes, mirrors and cardboard black cats. Before it reposed an open coffin with 13 candles.


Behind the ribaldry of its recurrent dinners lies the very sound thesis that superstition annually costs this country an inexcusable sum of time and money. People postpone trips because of mirrors and cats. Businessmen defer decisions because of calendrical coincidences.

Life has a gallery of photos from the dinner from photography William C. Shrout here. Go step on a crack today.