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Fact Check: The Real History of Black Friday and Its Dark Roots

Shashank Kulshrestha
Most of us know black friday for shopping and crazy discounts. But did you ever think about from where it arrived and the facts behind it? We will take you through some dark facts of black friday and its history. Along with being a part of Thanksgiving week, black friday has some dark facts about which you may not be aware. So, let's know about them.

First Use of the Term “Black Friday”

Many of us believe that black friday means shopping holiday. But it isn't like that. The first use of the term "Black Friday" was on 24 September 1869 when US Gold market crashed down. Gould and Fisk started buying as much nation's gold as they could with the view of selling it later at a higher price. This crash made investors bankrupt.

Retail Companies Recorded Huge Losses

After operating business at losses the entire year, to earn profit, retail stores used to offer products at discount prices. Due to huge discounts, holiday shoppers spend big amount on shopping during thanksgiving. Thus, black friday is called shopping holiday.

Slaves at Discounted Prices

This is an extremely dark fact of black friday. As per claims, back in 1800s southern plantation owners were offered slaves at a discounted price on the next day of Thanksgiving. This claim led to boycotting retail holiday. But as it didn't have any fact or evidence, the claim was never made again.

Cops Are Bound to Work

This shopping day is tiring for store owners and police department. As the crowd from locals and other cities is seen, cops are instructed to work all day long and cannot take leaves. In addition, shoplifters take advantage of the rush to make off merchandise.

From "Black Friday" to "Big Friday"

As black friday related to a bad incident, merchandisers of Philadelphia tried changing the name of "Black Friday shopping event" to "Big Friday" to remove bad connections. But, "Big Friday" didn't spread much and retailers started presenting Black Friday positively.

Dark Roots Forgotten

Gradually, the dark roots of black friday in Philadelphia were forgotten and this one day sale event was changed to a four-day shopping bonanza. The four-day event is known as Happy Thanksgiving which includes Black Friday, small business Saturday, small business Sunday, and cyber Monday. At present, it is the biggest shopping festival.

The First Parade of Macy's

First Macy's Parade happened on 27 November 1924 during the Thanksgiving day which was presented as "Christmas Parade". Showing the arrival of Santa Claus, this parade was the official start of the holiday shopping season.
E-commerce was growing and companies started noticing that a lot of shoppers were now moving to online shopping. With internet availability and mobile devices, it was easy to access the internet and shop online. So, in 2005, retailers and manufacturers gave birth to Cyber Monday, which is the last day of Thanksgiving event.
Emergence of Cyber Monday