Where Did “Black Friday” Come From?!


Mia Egerman, Editor in Chief


With Thanksgiving right around the corner, Christmas is quickly approaching. And by quickly approaching, I mean, by the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday is known as the beginning of the holiday shopping season in America and is one of the busiest times for retail stores all across the country. Although not an official holiday, Black Friday is recognized in some states as “The Day After Thanksgiving”, a more regulated day off for employees in 24 states now. But where did the name “Black Friday” originate?

Many rumors have surfaced since 1952 about where the name came from. A popular belief is that the “Black” in Black Friday refers to old practices of recording sales. Losses would be written in red ink, while it was only the black ink that made up the gains of the retail company. A shared goal for Black Friday was always to sell enough The Day After Thanksgiving that they would be “in the black” for the rest of the year.

However, others believe the term first originated by the Philadelphia Police Department. The streets of Philadelphia would be swarmed with people, following Turkey Day, looking for the major sales and holiday decorations they waited for all year. Things weren’t so cheery for the officers, though, as they were left dreading the regulations they had to strictly enforce to keep order on Black Friday. Before they knew it, the informal name reached store salespeople and was no longer just a title for Philadelphia’s chaos.


Over time, Black Friday has stretched out from what once started at 6 a.m., to now starting as early as 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Officially pronounced in 2005 that Black Friday is, in fact, the busiest shopping day of the year, there’s more to it than the average shopper thinks. With a clear concern for the stock market, “investors and analysts look at Black Friday numbers as a way to gauge the overall health of the entire retail industry” (Black Friday). So whether you prefer to stay away from the welcoming of the holiday season and go the Cyber Monday route, or you’re already preparing for any possible Wal-Mart ordeals, Black Friday will be here before you know it, and it isn’t going away anytime soon.