Black Friday

Today is Black Friday and personally, I think that is a gruesome name for the day. I was talking to my nephew’s wife yesterday at our annual traditional Thanksgiving dinner where we go out to eat instead of the muss and fuss of cooking. She was a wealth of information on why the day was named Black Friday. I think she received her degree in Finance.

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Apparently, the name is derived from the fact that for most establishments, on the day after Thanksgiving, they begin to turn a profit or “go into the black”. Now I thought that was quite interesting given that when the stock market crashed in 1929, they called it Black Tuesday. Why not Red Tuesday? Wouldn’t that be a more accurate name if you follow the logic of black ink on an income statement means profit and red ink means loss?  There was a whole lot of loss happening the day of the stock market crash.

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I think we should rename the day, Super Sale Friday or Screaming Deals Friday, or….how about Shop Until You Drop Friday. Then there is…The Day After Thanksgiving. Perhaps that one is too on the nose and not clever enough. I know there are a lot of writers out there that read this blog, so what do y’all think? Do you have a better name?

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Personally, I find every conceivable reason to avoid the crowds on Black Friday, because nothing is less appealing than pushing and shoving to grab that last item on sale. Or how about the craziness of getting up at four in the morning to stand in line waiting for the doors to open to grab that new TV that is a ridiculously low price, but the store only has 10. Okay maybe I was exaggerating a tad, but not much. Ah…the light bulb just went off for me…that’s why it’s named Black Friday…some poor little old lady probably lost her life in her quest for the perfect gift for her grandson as she dueled over the last PlayStation. Or…it is aptly named for people like me who would rather have a root canal than get near any store.

Although the explanation my nephew’s wife gave made sense, I still needed to do some research for a more complete explanation, because that’s what I do. And…do you know what? My ridiculous notions may be closer to the truth on the origin of the term Black Friday. This is what I learned: Black Friday first showed up in print in 1966 when a story appeared in an ad in The American Philatelist, a stamp collectors’ magazine. The Philadelphia Police Department used the name to describe the traffic jams and crowding in the downtown stores.  The actual term had been used by the police as early as the 50s in Philadephia.

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Interestingly enough another day in history was coined Black Friday, but apparently, that name did not stick. September 24th, 1869 was the very first Black Friday and had nothing to do with profits. In fact, it was the exact opposite. On this day in history two ruthless Wall Street financiers, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk bought as much of the nation’s gold and they could,  hoping to drive the price sky-high and sell it for astonishing profits. The conspiracy was unraveled on that Friday, causing the stock market to go into free-fall and bankrupting everyone from Wall Street barons to farmers.

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I know I’m not a retail store, just a lowly author hoping to make a profit on my stories, so at least one has a screaming deal because it is FREE on Kindle Unlimited and only 99 cents to buy outright. The others, I think are also reasonably priced. So make this a profitable Black Friday for me and click the links below to shop!

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