BLACK FRIDAY is the name given to the shopping day after Thanksgiving.
It was originally called Black Friday because so many people went out to shop that it caused traffic accidents and sometimes even violence.
The name was first recorded in 1966 by Earl Apfelbaum, a dealer in rare stamps. In his ad, he said, "'Black Friday' is the name that the Philadelphia Police Department gave to the Friday following Thanksgiving Day. It is not a term of endearment for them.
'Black Friday' officially opens the Christmas shopping season in center city, and it usually brings massive traffic jams and over-crowded sidewalks as the downtown stores are mobbed from opening to closing."
The Police Department coined the phrase to describe the mayhem surrounding the congestion of pedestrian and auto traffic in the Center City downtown area.
It was followed the next week by Black Tuesday. On that day, the stock market lost 11% despite attempts by major investors to support stock prices. That destroyed any confidence investors had in the stock market, which in those days was perceived to be the economy. Many had invested their life savings and were entirely wiped out.
They used the name to reflect their success. Accountants use black to signify profit when recording each day's book entries. Red is used to mean loss. Therefore, Black Friday means profitable Friday to retailing and to the economy.