[1966] "Black Friday" (day after Thanksgiving)

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu Apr 24 00:59:09 UTC 2008

On the Judges, I've heard the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving
referred to as "Black Wednesday," because of its being the first
non-weekend party night of the holiday season, according to a
thirty-ish, white, female speaker.


On Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 7:14 PM, Bonnie Taylor-Blake
<taylor-blake at nc.rr.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>  Poster:       Bonnie Taylor-Blake <taylor-blake at NC.RR.COM>
>  Subject:      [1966] "Black Friday" (day after Thanksgiving)
>  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>  Because it's never too early to be thinking about Thanksgiving and Black
>  Friday, I submit what follows as a nail in the coffin of that "from red ink
>  to black ink" explanation for how this particular Friday got its name.
>  By the way, Google Books provided a not-very-helpful snippet view of the
>  following advertisement, which appeared in the January 1966 issue (Volume
>  79, No. 4, p. 239) of *The American Philatelist*.  Thanks go to Ellen
>  Peachey of the American Philatelic Research Library (Bellefonte,
>  Pennsylvania); she came to the rescue, locating the text in question and
>  sending the appropriate PDF to me, all with good humor.
>  -- Bonnie
>  -----------------------------------------------------------
>  [This advertisement is in the form of a column written by Martin L.
>  Apfelbaum, Executive Vice President of Earl P.L. Apfelbaum, Inc., of
>  Philadelphia.  PDF available upon request.]
>  *Philadelphia's "Black Friday"*
>  JANUARY 1966 -- "Black Friday" is the name which the Philadelphia Police
>  Department has given to the Friday following Thanksgiving Day.  It is not a
>  term of endearment to 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.
>  This year proved to be no exception -- especially at Apfelbaum's.  The pace
>  was hectic and the traffic was heavy.  Here's a capsule report of how
>  Apfelbaum's weathered "Black Friday."
>  [...]
>  All in all, "Black Friday" certainly lived-up to its reputation.  In fact it
>  lasted for two days, with more of the same traffic and congestion the
>  Saturday which followed.
>  Is this activity unusual?  A little.  But just stop in on any day of the
>  week and you will see more action at Apfelbaum's than at any stamp shop in
>  the world.
>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>  The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
 -Sam'l Clemens

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