The Facts of “Black Friday”

The Facts of “Black Friday”

Lorea Thomson
Posted by Lorea Thomson
Updated on
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Published in Communities

Have you ever wondered where the phrase “Black Friday” came from?  Well, “Black Friday” is a term used for two unrelated occasions. While many people believe the term “Black Friday” finds its roots in the implication of black meaning “showing a profit; not showing any losses”.  That is not the case.

“Black Friday” is now most popularly used in America to refer to the day after Thanksgiving.  It is often considered to be the first day of the holiday shopping season and is known for featuring discounts from retailers. This is how most people interpret the phase.

Historically, “black” has been associated with days of economic stress as opposed to days of booming commercial success. The name “Black Friday” is also used to refer to September 24, 1869, the date of a financial panic in the U.S. triggered by gold speculators.

The first “Black Friday” occurred in 1869 after financier Jay Gould and railway businessman James Fisk attempted to corner the gold market, which ultimately resulted in financial panic and the collapse of the market. A little over 60 years later, on October 29, 1929, another stock market crash referred to as “Black Tuesday” and marked the onset of the Great Depression.

According to Dictionary.com, the true origin of the post-Thanksgiving “Black Friday” lies in the sense of black meaning “marked by disaster or misfortune.” In the 1950s, factory managers first started referring to the Friday after Thanksgiving as Black Friday because so many of their workers decided to falsely call in sick, thus extending the holiday weekend.

10 years later, Black Friday was used by Philadelphia traffic cops to describe the day after Thanksgiving because they had to work 12-hour shifts in terrible traffic. Visitors flocked to the city to start their holiday shopping and, sometimes this popular shopping day coincided with the annual Army–Navy football game. The term caught on among shoppers and merchants in Philadelphia, and from there it took off nationwide.”

 

Enjoy the holidays and holiday shopping!

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