Today I get to find out how Black Friday came about. I admit that I don't like the term associated with festive holidays. It sounds like a doomsday scenario. Harper's Weekly says its first use came from a gold market crash in 1869. There are lots of Black Fridays listed in Wikipedia here and they start in 1688 with the imprisonment of the Seven Bishops of the Church of England on the eve of the 'Glorious Revolution'. All of these Black Fridays refer to violence and scandal. So how has a shopping day taken on a label associated with violence, scandal and murder?
Supposedly the name came about because so many people went out to shop that it caused traffic accidents and sometimes even violence. It was first recorded in 1966 in a Philadelphia ad, when the Philadelphia police department used the phrase to describe the mayhem surrounding the congestion of pedestrian and auto traffic in the centre of town.
The article says Black Friday became a positive name. I wonder about this, as the news focuses on mayhem and violence, wherever it occurs that day.
I did my shopping part yesterday. I went to the Niagara Outlet Mall - a big American-style mall on the QEW across from Niagara College (where I was going). And yes, there were the deep discount prices of Black Friday. Do you think it will be jammed today? Will you go shopping today for the special deals?