The Term “Black Friday” - Deepstash
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The Term “Black Friday”

  • In 1869, two oligarchs conspired to corner the American gold market, which was at that time the basis for the U.S. dollar.
  • Their plan was so complex and the plot finally unraveled on Friday, September 24, sending U.S. financial markets into a tailspin, ruining countless investors, and tanking the broader economy.
  • That dark day came to be known as “Black Friday.”

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Why Black Friday Is So Popular

Black Friday is the conventional starting day for the holiday shopping season.

Historically, it’s also been the best day to find great deals on the year’s hottest toys, games, and electronics.

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The Department Store Model: Holiday Shopping in the Early to Mid-20th Century

  • The day after Thanksgiving was a natural time for shoppers to head into town and hit the department store. Most families were still together from the prior day’s feast, and few middle-class folks were required to work.
  • Big-city shopping districts were anchored by d...

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The Modern Holiday Shopping Calendar

  • Thanksgiving fell on the last Thursday of November since 1863 until 1939, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving to the fourth Thursday of November (starting with 1941), influenced by the request of a powerful coalition of retailers.

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The 20th Century: The Parade of Sponsors

  • In the middle of the 20th century, Thanksgiving parades drew crowds in most major cities and in some of the smaller towns too. Many were sponsored by local or national retailers. Back in the day, that meant mostly department stores.
  • By attaching their names to the ...

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Black Friday Today

  • Today’s retail environment is omnichannel. Shoppers are just as likely – if not more so – to buy stuff at home on their smartphones or laptops than drive to the nearest mall to seek the best deals in person.
  • The decline of brick-and-mortar retail i...

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Why Black Friday Is “Black”

Black Friday wasn’t a great day for the police departments in mid-20th-century Philadelphia. By the 1960s, locals had taken to calling the chaotic day after Thanksgiving “Black Friday.”

In 1950s Philadelphia, Thanksgiving weekend was a mob scene. The A...

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Black Friday has two relevant meanings

Black Friday has two relevant meanings

  • In history, Black Friday was a stock market disaster that happened on September 24, 1869, when, after a period of uncontrolled speculation, the price of gold crashed, and the markets crashed.
  • The contemporary meaning refers to the day after the U.S. Thanksg...

The real origin of Black Friday

  • Before retail repackaged Black Friday, it had a more sinister meaning. The earliest use of the phrase Black Friday dates to 1869. It was the day gold prices plummeted and caused a market crash. The economic effects lasted for years.
  • Traffic police coined the phrase...

The economic significance of Black Friday

  • The sales registered on Black Friday are frequently seen as a litmus test for the overall economic situation of the country and a way for economists to assess the confidence of the average American.
  • Those who follow the Keynesian hypothesis​ that spending d...

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