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Arnold Schoenberg: Triskaidekaphobia

The composer Arnold Schoenberg suffered from triskaidekaphobia (the fear of the number 13). Convinced that he would someday die on the thirteenth of the month, he was always restless when it rolled around. On July 13th, 1951, Schoenberg, fearful that the end was near, sat downstairs, watching the clock with his wife Gertrud holding his hands. As midnight struck, the composer, relieved that he had survived the day, retired to bed while Gertrud fixed him a bedtime drink. When she entered the bedroom, she was horrified to find his lifeless body on the bed. Only then did she glance at another clock -- and realize that the clock downstairs was running fast. Schoenberg had died on July 13th.

[This story was later disputed by Schoenberg's daughter.]

[The back of the U.S. $1 bill displays a pyramid with thirteen steps. The motto above it, annuit coeptis, contains thirteen letters -- as does that (e pluribus unum) written on the ribbon in the eagle's beak. There are thirteen stars above the eagle's head, thirteen stripes on the shield, thirteen war arrows in its left talon, and thirteen leaves on the olive branch in its right talon. The reason? Originally, there were thirteen states.]

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