The History of Black Friday

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The History of Black Friday

Margaret Stavrinadis, Staff Writer

Black Friday, a “holiday” that is celebrated by shoppers all over the world. Black Friday is seen as such a wondrous day for shoppers to go wild after Thanksgiving, to give thanks to their loved ones by gift cards and other gifts for the next upcoming holiday. No one knows really how Black Friday began so here is the history of the notorious, the giving, Black Friday.

Stories and Rumors

There are many stories and rumors of the said origin, one story tells of the term “Black Friday” first being used back in the 1860’s. In 1869, on September 24th, the U.S gold market crashed. There were conspiracies of the origins of the crash, but the public saw the truth in September on, ironically, a Friday. Apparently two Wall Street financiers, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, bought an abundant amount of the nation’s gold. The two financiers’ goal was to push the prices to staggering heights. This sent the gold market spiraling bankrupting everyone in sight. Another story entails how in the 1800’s the term “Black Friday” refers to the day after Thanksgiving when plantation owners could buy enslaved workers for discounts. There are many versions of this so-called “holiday”, but the most recent origin of the story that people today believe is in the 1950’s.

Recent History

Black Friday origins are much darker than many shoppers might actually believe. The most recent historical origin of Black Friday is back in the 1950’s in Philadelphia. The term “Black Friday” was used by the police of Philadelphia to show the chaos of the day after Thanksgiving when usually was the day people of America do start their holiday shopping. This day of chaos was known by the police as a day to take extra long shifts because of the danger that the shoppers actually imposed on the shop and each other. Throughout the next twenty to thirty years retailers specifically tried to change the branding of Black Friday to “Big Friday”. By the late 1980’s the change to negative to positive happened and retailers successfully changed Black Friday to the day where shops and retailers would turn to a profit. Black Friday from there grew nation-wide and is known by shoppers all around the world.