How Black Friday Became What It Is Today

Jacob Cordeiro, Staff Writer

Every year, on the Friday following Thanksgiving, millions of shoppers across the U.S. spend big and are eager to cash in on eye-catching deals. The deals range from electronics to clothing and shoes. The holiday, known as Black Friday, falls on the 29th of November this year and as it is fast approaching, I decided to delve into what makes Black Friday “Black Friday.”

The holiday’s namesake originates from two men buying a great amount of gold in aspirations that the price would skyrocket and in turn, they would make huge profits. These two men were Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, and their plan completely backfired. The American gold market crashed and due to their actions, the Wall Street barons were left bankrupt. This all took place on Friday, September 24, 1869, but it was not until years later when Black Friday became associated with Thanksgiving weekend. When U.S. businesses kept track of their sales by hand, they marked their profits in black ink and losses in red ink. They realized an annual trend in which the day after Thanksgiving contained more black notes than any other day. However, police officers in Philadelphia were the first to put together the holiday’s name after having to deal with huge crowds because of the Army vs. Navy football game. Traffic jams and shopfitting were at all-time highs on Fridays after Thanksgiving, and soon enough the label “Black Friday” was spreading across the nation. 

No matter where you live, malls and shopping centers are packed during all hours of Black Friday. For many, it kicks off the holiday season as people begin to search for gifts for those they care about the most. They want deals and are looking to save the most money as possible, but of course will also make sure the purchase is high quality and not a cheap product. Millions of Americans visit stores to buy these items but nowadays much of the merchandise is bought online. Amazon, for instance, makes tons of money on Black Friday, but nevertheless, the holiday brings business to countless companies and therefore they won’t complain about the immense crowds and the chaos that is brought to their stores.