Origin of Black Friday

By Jamey Boyum - email

Tyler, TX (KLTV) - Where were you at 3 a.m.? Some of you may have been braving the cold to save a few hundred dollars, while others were still sleeping off that turkey. We were at Target early this morning when the doors opened and chilled bargain hunters flooded the store with two words going through their minds: Black Friday.

But how did the Friday after Thanksgiving get such a dark name?

Black Friday. It's synonymous with a long wait followed by an adrenalin rush and possibly an empty wallet. But emptying that wallet can get you nearly twice as much stuff as any other day of the year. Generally there are more consumers than the consumed, so sometimes consumers get a little jostled.

"Pushed around trying to get this TV right here," Bryan Kilpatrick said. "It was worth it because I saved about 300 dollars on this TV."

So maybe its called Black Friday because people can get pushy?

"I don't remember. I did know, but I forgot," Sara Fussell said.

"Black Friday, I do not know. Probably from so much of the chaos," Ulysses Galban said.

"Black means you are making more money. If you go into the red it means you're not making any money," Mike T. Spencer said.

According to Wikipedia, everyone is right. The term started in Philadelphia back in 1966. Police and cab drivers coined the phrase to describe traffic the day after Thanksgiving. By 1981 retailers wanted to put a more positive spin on Black Friday, so they spread the word that it referred to sales coming out of the red and into the black. But some think there is a downside to all this.

"Retailers have gone out of the red into the black, and we have gone out of the black and into the red," John Lindsey said.

Black Friday has been called the busiest shopping day of the year for a long time, but it didn't become the best day of the year for retailers until 2005. And according to Wikipedia, has been ever since.

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