Pop Culture

Here's The Fascinating History Of Black Friday

There are so many myths about where this holiday came from, from gold diggers to slavery.

Oh, Black Friday. The most day millions of Americans fight to get into stores that disgust them the rest of the year. 

There are so many myths about where this holiday came from, from gold diggers to slavery - most of which are untrue. Here is a little tidbit about how the holiday was actually birthed, and it all starts with the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia.

Suburban Consumers Lost Their Minds

According to Historythe term 'Black Friday' was actually coined in the 1950s to describe the day after Thanksgiving, when Philly suburbanites would flock to the city in droves for the annual Army-Navy football game. Cops would be forced to work all day to ensure safety of the large crowd, and it was prime-time for shoplifters who would often get lost in the hustle and bustle of the traffic.

They Tried To Change It

By the 1960s, 'Black Friday' was a well-known term in Philly, but they tried to change it due to its negative connotations. 'Big Friday' wasn't much of a catchy tune, though, so the attempt was unsuccessful. 

Time Took Its Course

By the 1980s, Black Friday was still very much a local term, but retailers began looking for a way to flip it positively -- and they found it. They decided to use it to refer to the date when retailers finally profit, moving from the red (losses) into the black (profits), financially speaking. That's when they incorporated the idea of sales and to give incentive for consumers to spend money. Retailers insisted that the day after Thanksgiving would make the perfect time for the red-to-black flip -- although the real flip actually occurs the Saturday before Christmas. People are already shopping that day anyway. Why bother? 

Total Bedlam.

The event spread nationwide, and has now evolved into a full-out day of mania. It's even an official holiday in 24 states. The cheap deals extend throughout a weekend, from Black Friday to Small Business Saturday and Sunday, all the way to Cyber Mondays. Just last year, an estimated 135 million people said they partake in the holidays from Friday to Sunday, and an additional 185 million said they go for the online deals.

To be honest, I'm a bit concerned about the in-person shopping this year, given the climate of the country, but then again, how much will smart televisions be selling for?

[Photo: Getty Images]

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