Nugget of Knowledge: Black Friday origin

Retailers adopted the phrase and turned it into something positive

Nugget of Knowledge

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Black Friday started in the 1950s, when the police in Philadelphia had to deal with all of the chaos on the day after Thanksgiving. It was when people from the suburbs and the tourists flooded the city to shop and get ready for an important tradition: the big Army-Navy football game held every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

There were no days off for the police, but instead, extra long shifts and huge crowds and traffic.

Shoplifters were out, too, which was another headache. Police began to call it a “black Friday” for them.

Retailers heard the term and tried to turn it into something positive, but it took time.

We didn’t say Black Friday means shopping until the late 1980s. It’s that recent.

Soon, we forget about its roots in Philadephia.

The National Retail Federation predicts that 135 million Americans definitely plan to shop over this Thanksgiving weekend. Even more — 183 million — plan to shop on so-called Cyber Monday.

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