The history of Black Friday

Viktoria Glass, Writer

Black Friday is a very mixed bag of emotions and a good time for savings after spending a lot of money on Thanksgiving dinner. But, as the world changes, so does this holiday. Now most Black Friday deals are weeks long and are online. The hectic parking lots and crowded stores seem like a fading memory. In this article I will tell you about the origins of Black Friday and a little bit about it.

  The origin of Black Friday wasn’t about savings but the “Gold Panic of 1869,” which caused prices of metal to skyrocket in New York. Ulysses S. Grant, the president at the time, made a law that would sell gold to pay off national debt, stabilize the dollar, and boost the economy. Two people, one of them married to the sister of the president at the time, tried to manipulate the gold market and it worked. Weeks went by and these two people were buying gold from the New York Gold Room, raising the price of gold for a little bit. The President found out what they were doing and took action. He told someone to get rid of his gold holdings and ordered the release of $4 million dollars in government gold in September 1869,which decreased the price of gold a lot. 

Now, Black Friday is much different than back then but the first signs of Black Friday shopping was in 1952. They called it “Christmas shopping season”. Well, not completely, it was usually about Christmas parades. These parades were about Thanksgiving but at the end of each one had Santa at the end to tell that Christmas was right around the corner. But these parades usually affected the Christmas shopping season. So eventually it became an unwritten rule to not sell Christmas stuff until the parade was over. This affected some businesses because most people were not buying Christmas stuff until after Thanksgiving, but some companies wanted to change that and started to advertise Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving. Franklin Roosevelt, the president at the time, changed Thanksgiving to the 3rd Thursday of November instead of the fourth, stretching the Christmas shopping season.

Much more recently in 2015 Amazon started Black Friday in July called “Prime Day”.

They promised better deals than Black Friday on their website and, in 2016 and 2017 other companies started Black Friday in July as well.