Millions of Americans this year will wake up at the crack of dawn the morning after Thanksgiving to take advantage of some of the massive sales deals offered on one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
While most shoppers know this day as Black Friday, not everyone is aware of how the holiday actually got its name.
Black Friday’s origin story is shrouded in mystery, with numerous competing myths circulating around the internet.
One of the most widely accepted — and positive — versions is that traditionally, retailers would operate at a loss for the majority of the year (being “in the red”), but earned a profit (go “into the black”) on the day after Thanksgiving, a reference to the actual colors that retailers would use to denote profits and losses when doing their accounting, according to History.
Many sources, however, suggest the name originated in Philadelphia in the 1950s and 1960s. It was originally used by police and bus drivers in Philadelphia to describe the traffic and congestion caused by an influx of shoppers that would arrive on Friday ahead of the Army-Navy football game, which was played on Saturday, according to the sources.
While the Black Friday shopping craze may have started in Philadelphia, today it can be found cities all across America.
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