Shop ‘til You Drop

By: Steven Downs

Black Friday: everybody’s favorite shopping day. A time of great deals, pushing, shoving, and flying fists, all to get that 65” flat screen at Walmart that you know you don’t need because you still have the 60” from last year, but you’re going to buy it anyway because it’s such a great deal. But have you ever wondered where it all began?

The infamously famous holiday started in Philadelphia in the 1950s. Police used “Black Friday” to refer to the day after thanksgiving when mobs of shoppers and tourists came to watch the Army vs. Navy football game. Stores attempted to change the name to Big Friday as there was racial controversy over the name, but it never caught on. Luckily by the 1980s they had found another way to overlook the bad reputation it had earned itself. They would hold big sales on the day after Thanksgiving and use the term to refer to turning a profit, which is recorded in black ink. Not long after, the rest of the country caught on and Black Friday became known as the biggest shopping day of the year.

All of this leaves us where we are today – the uncontrollable chaos that is Black Friday. Since 2006 there have been seven deaths and ninety-eight reported injuries relating to shopping, but that’s not the least bit surprising considering it attracts more people in one day than Disneyland does in a year. (bbc.com) Luckily for us, online shopping is becoming more and more popular and user friendly and is only expected to grow. Companies like Amazon and eBay are stepping up their Black Friday sales, and other companies like Walmart and Target are offering more of their sales online. Despite all of this, the Saturday before Christmas is in fact the biggest shopping day of the year. However, Black Friday is still America’s shopping day, whether it’s in-store or online, and it’s only growing.

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