A brief history of Black Friday
The modern use of “Black Friday” didn’t come from: sales records going from red ink (losses) to black ink (profits), a stock market scam in 1869 (that did happen, though), employees calling in sick the day after Thanksgiving to have a four-day weekend, the American slave trade. Thankfully, the truth is far more interesting.
The term “Black Friday” originates with Philadelphia traffic police in the mid-20th century – for the day following the Thanksgiving holiday every year when the traffic in downtown (Center City) Philadelphia became almost unmanageable . They called it “Black Friday,” because of the massive traffic jam that they dealt with all day due to shoppers, and then all night due to the Army-Navy football game.
Every ‘Black Friday,’ no traffic policeman was permitted to take the day off. The division was placed on 12 tours of duty, and even the police band was ordered to Center City. It was not unusual to see a trombone player directing traffic.”