Many people wonder what is Black Friday and the meaning behind it. It goes beyond the biggest shopping day of the year, as its term is related to an incident which happened far back as the 1860s. Get to know the history of Black Friday and what makes it the largest shopping event of the holiday season.
History of Black Friday. Originally labeled Black Friday in 1869 due to a gold-investment scandal by two stock brokers, James Fisk and Jay Gould, the term Black Friday was brought back to life in 1966 when the Philadelphia Police Department started to consider every Friday after Thanksgiving "Black Friday" due to hordes of people heading to downtown Philadelphia to shop for the Christmas season. Gradually, the term spread to different cities in the United States and by the mid 1970s, the name started to become popular due to The New York Times newspaper describing the Philadelphia’s busiest event held yearly.
Popularity of Black Friday. The term came a long way from its original meaning from the 1860s thanks to the Philadelphia police. It is the largest annual shopping day after the Thanksgiving holiday. Consumers get the latest deals on electronics, household appliances and items, toys, and apparel, which are deeply marked down from its original price, causing crowds and long lines of people waiting for stores to open, mainly at midnight. Dozens of popular retailers across the country is involved in these "fantastic deals" as shoppers save money for Christmas gifts. Most Black Friday early bird sales begin between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. and usually ends around 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., depending on the stores. However, they will last throughout the day but most of the best items on sale are completely gone by the afternoon.
Black Friday advertisements. Normally, the Sunday newspaper circulates dozens of in-store advertisements weekly. When it comes to Black Friday deals, it is best to buy a newspaper the day of Thanksgiving, which includes special Black Friday ads from popular retailers so shoppers can get an early start on Friday morning. Advertisements are also on websites, reminding consumers of the day; plus, it gives people the opportunity to print out different ads from the store you plan to shop at.
Chaos, incidents, and death. As the Christmas season starts to bloom, so do thousands of shoppers making their way through heavy traffic and waiting in long lines to be one of the early birds to get into stores on Black Friday. Several incidents occurred throughout the United States in 2000s . People were jailed for possessing a weapon and threatening to use it on anyone daring to cut in line; several were arrested for fights, arguments after refusal to exit stores, including the 2008 death of an New York Wal-Mart employee stampede to death after shoppers trampled over the injured man and ignoring employees plea to stop running.