The History of Black Friday is an interesting story that dates back to the 1960s. The tradition has its origins in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania when retailers would open their stores on Thanksgiving Day and offer special deals to get people into their shops before the Christmas shopping season. It was called “Black Friday” because it represented the beginning of the period where retailers start making profits for the year. Though this tradition originated decades ago, today’s shoppers still love getting great deals on November 26th!
Black Friday Has Been Around for Well Over 100 Years
Back in the late 1800s, many stores sponsored Thanksgiving parades. At the end of the parade, people would come to their store and start shopping for gifts. We don’t know exactly when this tradition started, but by the beginning of the 1900s, it was common for retailers to start their holiday-season sales as soon as Thanksgiving ended.
Thanksgiving used to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. When there was a five-Thursday November in 1939, business leaders asked President Franklin D. Roosevelt to move the holiday back one week so that stores could sell their goods before December. Roosevelt agreed and Americans now celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday in November unless it is a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
History of Black Friday: The Black Friday Name Comes from Philadelphia
You may have heard that the “black” in Black Friday refers to the day’s power to push retailers “into the black,” a reference to the black ink used on handwritten ledgers to denote profit. People have been saying that Black Friday is a day when retailers earn money. But there is no proof for this. This story was made up by the retailers to make the name sound better. The real origin of the word comes from Philadelphia, where they play an Army-Navy football game on Saturday following Thanksgiving every year.
In the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s the game caused a lot of problems for the police. They had to deal with all sorts of fun and games. It was so much work that they started calling this day Black Friday. In Philadelphia, many people from outside the city would come on this day to buy things from local stores.
The Philadelphia retailers started calling this day Black Friday too because they would have a good time on it and make a lot of money from all these people coming to buy their things. When Black Friday became popular nationwide in the 1980s, people forgot about its bad origins and only remembered the myth about black ink being used by businesses.