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

Bonnie Taylor-Blake taylor-blake at NC.RR.COM
Wed Apr 23 23:14:25 UTC 2008

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

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

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