The History of BlackFriday

3 min read

by | Sep 26, 2022

The Black Friday that we know and love has changed for good. We are no longer waiting outside storefronts for hours in the cold to fight our way to highly discounted appliances and goods. Instead, we can enjoy the warmth and comfort of our family on Thanksgiving and shop remotely online. Major retail chains decided to spread out their deals throughout the month of November and refocus the day on what truly matters; family. 


While this change has reinforced the true meaning of the holiday season, spending time with loved ones, it is sad to see some traditions built go away. Thanksgiving became the pregame meal before the battle for retail items. Nevertheless, Black Friday started in 1869, on Wall Street with two men who were trying to buy gold at a cheap price then resell it at a higher price. This scam pulled off by Jay Gould and Jim Fisk bankrupted everyone who had money in the stock market. 


But, the first true Black Friday started in Philadelphia in 1961. Every year Philly hosts an Army/Navy football game on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This gave the spectators of this event one day between Thanksgiving and the game to rush to stores and buy gifts in the city. On this day the stores would finally turn a profit financially pulling them out of “the red” and into “the black.” The colloquialism “black” is an accounting term that accountants use to categorize a store’s profitability. 


Eventually to compete with one another, major retail stores began to open earlier and earlier. This got to the point where families had to end their Thanksgiving meal before 4pm to go out shopping. Because of the pandemic and increasing online sales, stores have decided to back off and open at their normal holiday shopping hours. This is bitter sweet for those who both love Thanksgiving and Black Friday.  

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