The History of Black Friday

It's not just you — Black Friday really does start earlier and earlier each year. This is the history of the post-Thanksgiving Day tradition. 🛍️

More countries are adopting the shopping phenomenon

Black Friday was first used by Philadelphia police in the 1960s to describe the post-Thanksgiving period when large crowds of shoppers would wreak havoc on the city. The crowds created traffic jams and chaos when they came for the Army-Navy football game. In the 1950s, people began calling in sick the day after Thanksgiving to give themselves a four-day weekend. But in the 1980s, retailers embraced the term for a different reason. Originally it got its name because that was the day when retailers went into the black during the holiday season.

The first recorded use of the term “Black Friday” was applied not to holiday shopping but to financial crisis: specifically, the crash of the U.S. gold market on September 24, 1869. Two notoriously ruthless Wall Street financiers, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, worked together to buy up as much as they could of the nation’s gold, hoping to drive the price sky-high and sell it for astonishing profits. On that Friday in September, the conspiracy finally unraveled, sending the stock market into free-fall and bankrupting everyone from Wall Street barons to farmers. By the 1990s, Black Friday was synonymous with doorbuster sales and lightning deals. Over the next few decades, it became known for frenzied and chaotic shopping — with shoppers lining up outside stores overnight.

It has now spread to other countries with retailers adopting the shopping phenomenon. In 2011, retailers were criticized for opening their stores at midnight on Thanksgiving. But now stores like WalMart and BestBuy open by 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday. As more people shop online, there’s less of the in-store frenzy. But Black Friday remains one of the biggest shopping days of the year. In 2019, about 115 million people in the U.S. will shop on Black Friday according to the National Retail Federation.


11/27/2019 9:12 PMupdated: 12/03/2019 9:11 PM


  • Audrey S.
    11/28/2020 21:42

    A white sale.

  • Axel D.
    11/28/2020 15:57 millions of their own are starving...

  • Will R.
    11/28/2020 15:43

    If stores can sell the stuff at the so called discounts on Black Fridays and STILL make a huge profit, how much are they making selling the merchandise at so called regular price? THINK ABOUT IT!!! I'M JUST SAYING.....

  • Vladimir S.
    11/28/2020 13:17

    Later one ....corona time

  • Ivan J.
    11/28/2020 07:53

    Mga karnero.hahagaha

  • Lenson K.
    11/28/2020 07:32

    we missed this black Friday. but next time we will get it

  • Matthew C.
    11/28/2020 06:33


  • Deth K.
    11/28/2020 05:13


  • Kathryn W.
    11/28/2020 04:39

    Welcome to COVID you idiots

  • Vivianne S.
    11/28/2020 02:30


  • Dee G.
    11/28/2020 02:18

    White monday coming soon

  • Pete M.
    11/28/2020 01:45

    Like a flock of seagulls fighting over a french fry.

  • Laura H.
    11/28/2020 00:45


  • Michelle A.
    11/28/2020 00:37


  • Todd N.
    11/27/2020 23:39

    We didn’t invent greed we just made it appealing.

  • Cassidy F.
    11/27/2020 21:44

    Stay home

  • Brut
    11/27/2020 21:37

    Here are some alternatives to Black Friday:

  • Dan M.
    11/27/2020 20:55

    Is black Friday racist? Tune in to find out at 9

  • Alisa D.
    11/27/2020 20:47

    Not this year😏

  • Hugues d.
    11/27/2020 19:03

    comapre the average USA in 60 and now ... 3 times teh weigh ... is acountry of fatties ...

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