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The history behind "Black Friday"

As sad as it may seem it seems that many people look forward these days to Thanksgiving being over so the “real” holidays can begin and of course the hussle and bussle of getting that Christmas shopping done early, quickly and efficiently.  So, with Thanksgiving looming upon us that can only mean one thing:  BLACK FRIDAY!  So, let’s delve into the history of this un-official holiday called “Black Friday.”

Chris Hondros, Getty Images

From what I can tell shoppers since the early 19th century have viewed Thanksgiving as the traditional start to the holiday shopping season.  Department stores in particular locked onto this marketing idea by hosting parades to launch the start of Christmas advertisements with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, running in New York City since 1924 as the original.  The holiday spree became so important to retailers that during the Great Depression, they appealed to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939 to move Thanksgiving up in order to stretch out the holiday shopping season.  The President agreed and moved Thanksgiving up a week but didn’t announce the change until October.  As a result, Americans had two Thanksgivings that year — Roosevelt’s, derisively dubbed “Franksgiving,” and the original date.  {Due to the “switch” being handled so badly only a few actually observed it and the change resulted in little economic boost.

From Time Magazine:

The term Black Friday itself was originally used to describe something else entirely — the Sept. 24, 1864, stock-market panic set off by plunging gold prices. Newspapers in Philadelphia reappropriated the phrase in the late 1960s, using it to describe the rush of crowds at stores. The justification came later, tied to accounting balance sheets where black ink would represent a profit. Many see Black Friday as the day retailers go into the black or show a profit for the first time in a given year. The term stuck and spread, and by the 1990s Black Friday became an unofficial retail holiday nationwide. Since 2002, Black Friday has been the season’s biggest shopping day each year except 2004, according to market-research firm ShopperTrak.

Nevertheless, retailers continue to tie one-day in-store sales to Black Friday. Many forums and websites chart the deals in today’s world helping you and I make a plan of attack for the big day.

And attack we will!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and make sure to take the first aid kit with you Friday if you are one of the hardcore. Personally, I will be in bed till about 9am so leave me some good stuff, please.

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