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Flashback Friday: The Story of Black Friday

by Gina 11/27/2009

November 25th, 1966. You could buy a pen set for about $12, for the first time disposable diapers were purchased to fill stockings, and if you happened to live in Philadelphia, you just might have heard a funny phrase called “Black Friday” in reference to the electric first day of the holiday shopping season.

More than 40 years later we’ve got Black Friday sales, t-shirts, TV episodes and now even “Cyber Monday”. Being Sony Style and having a hand in these special sales, it’s only fitting to make today about sharing what I found on how this term came to life.  

Now the term “Black Friday” has been used since the 1800′s in reference to economical times  (also in accounting, being in “the black” indicates a profit) but only in the last 40 years or so has this term been redefined around the holidays. Some believe that this is how Black Friday came to be associated with shopping as retailers were hoping that the day after Thanksgiving would get them into “the black” on the books.

There are other theories that the first public reference of this shopping day term came from the Philadelphia Police Department in the 1960′s in reference to the crowds and traffic jams created the day after Thanksgiving from eager shoppers. In the 1975 this term received national recognition when it made it’s way into a New York Times article.

Now what I was able to find that was somewhat consistent was that the term Black Friday really didn’t become popular until the 21st century (perhaps brought on by the internet). I can’t seem to buy that (no pun intended) since I remember this term at a much younger age. Bottom line is that no one person truly invented the term. If you have any information on when “Black Friday” started or a memory of your first time hearing it, pop in and comment on this article. I’d love to know what you know.

So as you search for deals, brave the malls and push those carts through crowds, remember the colorful spirits of all of us surrounding this holiday. Why? Because it’s not just any Black Friday, it’s a Flashback Friday.

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  1. Anonymous wrote: November 26, 2010 11:38am

    Black Friday. My first memory of the term comes with the mental image of men jumping out of skyscrapers. It doesn’t inspire me to rip out my wallet and spend. It inspires me to stay home and watch movies on TV, far from the mad crowds.

    Reply

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