Posted by: Jack Henry | November 29, 2019

Editor’s Corner: Black Friday

Good morning to those of you who join me in working on this, hopefully quiet, Friday. Well, Thanksgiving is behind us, and we all know what that means: Black Friday is upon us.

I thought I’d share a little bit about the background of Black Friday. According to an article on, the earliest mention of “Black Friday” to refer to the day after Thanksgiving occurred in the November 1951 issue of Factory Management and Maintenance—and it was about worker absenteeism, not shopping and huge sales.

But the tradition that made the name “Black Friday” part of our national lexicon, and that linked it to holiday shopping, occurred in the 1960s. According to the article, “Retailers would like you to believe that it’s the day when stores turn a profit on the year, thus ‘going into the black.’ But don’t you believe it: the true origins come from traffic-weary police officers in Philadelphia in the early 1960s.” And this event did have to do with the shopping rush. The article states that many Philadelphia police officers were forced to work 12-hour shifts to deal with heavy shopping traffic.

Back in the ’60s there was a push to find a more positive term than “Black Friday.” The term “Big Friday,” was introduced, but it just didn’t fly. “Black Friday” took hold, and the shopping tradition grew more popular and spread across the states.

I heard on the news on my way in to work this morning that just a few years ago, 51% of people in the United States participated in Black Friday shopping. And when the craze was at its worst, in 2008, a Walmart employee was trampled and killed by a shopping mob on Black Friday. This year, only about 30% of us are expected to shop on Black Friday, which still makes it the busiest shopping day of the year—hopefully, the smaller crowds will be better behaved.

In any case, I’m not participating. I’m here, with you, working so that my husband, Mick, can join the fray and buy me something really magnificent. No pressure, Mick. I’m sure whatever you find will be wonderful. It’s not the present that matters, it’s the fact that you risked life and limb to get it for me. That’s true love.

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Ext: 765432

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