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The Origins of Black Friday

Easily considered the biggest sale of the year, Black Friday has always been known as a day of deals, steals and empty wallets. But, how did this tradition start? According to History.com, its origins actually didn’t have anything to do with retail discounts.

In the 50’s, Philadelphia police used the term ‘Black Friday’ to describe the post-Thanksgiving chaos that ensued when large groups of tourists flooded the city in anticipation for the big Army-Navy football game. Cops weren’t allowed to take the day off, had to work extra-long shifts and had to deal with an increase in shoplifting.

To take away the negative connotation that stemmed from ‘Black Friday’, retailers twisted the story to highlight that on the day after Thanksgiving they earned the biggest profit (going into black). This story stuck and spread to retailers across the country, pushing them to offer major discounts. Today, according to Good Housekeeping, the average American spends close to $350 on Black Friday. Let the shopping commence!