How Black Friday originated

19 November 2020 | Business

Staff Reporter - One of the major events in American history was the Panic of 1869, which occurred when investors Jay Gould and James Fisk made an attempt to corner the gold market. Their scheme was to keep government gold off the market, which they did through political influence.

When president Ulysses S. Grant became aware of what they were up to, he ordered the Treasury to release a large supply of gold. This caused prices to drop substantially and a stock market crash followed, and many fortunes were made or lost in a single day.

One of the other dark days in history was “Black Thursday” which occurred on 24 October 1929 and signalled the start of the Great Depression. This was followed by “Black Tuesday” which occurred the next week when the stock market lost 12%.

The story that originated behind “Black Friday” is a term that was used by police in the city of Philadelphia in the 1950s.

They used to describe this as the chaos that ensued due to a major increase in pedestrians and vehicles that would occur on the day after Thanksgiving when hordes of shoppers and tourists flooded the city ahead of the Army-Naval football game that was held on that Saturday every year. The policemen in Philadelphia would not be able to take that particular day off and would have to work long shifts dealing with additional safety issues.

Shoplifters would also take advantage by stealing merchandise, adding to their worries.

As the phrase “Black Friday” became more popular, merchants objected to the use of this negative term, and an explanation began to take form that this day represented a point in the year when retailers began to turn a profit.

They would usually operate at a financial loss throughout the year, making up for it during the holiday season which starts the day after Thanksgiving. A common accounting practice would be to use red ink to show negative amounts and black ink to show a positive amount, resulting in a period when retailers would no longer be “in the red”. – History.com/Huffington Post/Wikipedia

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