the past

This Is What Was Happening the Last Time the Full Moon Fell on Friday the 13th

A full moon is seen during the round 13 AFL match between the Carlton Blues and the Hawthorn Hawks at Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 13, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.
Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Today is a little creepy, and not just because Anthony Weiner is being forced to explain his Twitter activities again: It is both Friday the 13th and the day of a full moon (last night’s big moonrise happened at 12:11 a.m). According to superstition, we should all currently be noticing a general increase in bad luck, crazy behavior, and werewolves. But even if nothing scary or strange is happening, this day is still interesting because the last time Friday the 13th and a full moon coincided was October 13, 2000, which was a pretty long time ago at this point. Here’s what it was like:

FBI investigators arrived in Yemen to begin investigating the U.S.S. Cole explosion, which had occurred the day before. Two suicide bombers detonated a small motorboat full of explosives next to the Navy destroyer as it refueled, blowing a 40-foot-wide hole in the side of the ship and killing 17 crew members. Though Al Qaeda took responsibility for the bombing, most Americans remained unfamiliar with Osama bin Laden’s terrorist group until the September 11 attacks eleven months later.

Photo: U.S. Navy

The 2000 presidential race was in full swing. While discussing energy policy with a group of autoworkers in Michigan, a youthful George W. Bush mockingly displayed a copy of Earth in the Balance, Al Gore’s 1992 book about the environment. 

Photo: Bill Pugliano/Newsmakers

Meanwhile, in New York City, celebrities including Eddie Vedder and Michael Moore — both of whom seemed cooler at the time — and Patti Smith and Susan Sarandon — both of whom are just as beloved now as they were then — attended a Madison Square Garden rally for Green Party candidate Ralph Nader. Nobody knew what a “hanging chad” was yet. 

Photo: Evan Agostini/ImageDirect

The Yankees beat the Seattle Mariners 8–2 in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. They went on to beat the Mets at the New York–centric 2000 World Series later that month. 

Photo: Dan Levine/AFP/Getty Images

Thursday, October 12, 2000 was a terrible day on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones industrial average falling by 379.21, or 3.6 percent — the fifth biggest point drop on record at the time. The Friday the 13th that followed bucked its bad reputation when the markets rallied: The Dow gained 157.6 points, reversing almost half of the previous day’s losses. Meanwhile, the NASDAQ rose by 242.09 points, 7.87 — the second biggest gain on record at the time. Men in suits spoke about these developments on giant flip phones.

Photo: Henny Ray Abrams/AFP/Getty Images

And, finally, in news you’d expect from Friday the 13th: Jonathan Andrews sat down with Larry King to discuss the horrific murder of his wife, Theresa Andrews. Late in September of 2000, a pregnant Andrews was shot and killed by her Cleveland-area neighbor, Michelle Bica. Bica then cut Andrews’s son out of her body and tried to pass the baby off as her own. When the police began to suspect that Bica was responsible for the murder, she committed suicide, and the little boy, Oscar, was found and returned to his father. “It’s the worst thing and the best thing that ever happened to me was on the same day, so it’s very bittersweet,” Andrews told King. 

Jennifer Lopez and a gentleman not yet known as P. Diddy were dating. This is what it looked like: 

Photo: Steve Azzara/Sygma/Corbis

Finally, Christina Aguilera’s “Come on Over (All I Want Is You)” was the No. 1 song in the United States. Back in 2000, that ranking still meant something, and white pants that laced up at the hips were still something a famous person would wear. Enjoy: 

The next time the world will see a full moon on Friday the 13th will be August 13, 2049. Let’s hope that the websites of that day don’t look back on this one as the exact moment when things started to get really bad. 

The Last Friday the 13th Full Moon