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September 29, 1906

A MODERN SUPERSTITION.

JAMA. 1906;XLVII(13):1026-1027. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.02520130050010

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Abstract

It is usually supposed that nowadays education has practically done away with superstition, and that whatever manifestations of it are left are to be found only among the ignorant and almost exclusively among the foreign immigrants into this country who have not had the opportunities that have been provided here. The recent automobile race on Long Island, however, almost provided another striking example of the influence of superstition even on educated people. There were to have been fifteen contestants, but fortunately the number was reduced to twelve before the race actually took place. Last year, with more contestants in it, though the different machines were numbered in rotation, the number thirteen was not given out, because it was understood that the drivers objected to riding with so dread a talisman on their cars. They are perfectly willing to risk their lives making records of over sixty miles an hour on

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