Day after Thanksgiving
Before long, every entrance to the Exchange became so blocked by the still-gathering legions, that strength and patience were required by him who desired or found it necessary to work his way through the press of people…
What had happened to values? What did it mean? Tampering with gold…had precipitated an alarmingly unsettled condition, which might reach disastrously from one end of the land to the other…
Frederic Stewart Isham, Black Friday, 1904
Greetings, children. Buy Nothing Day is the day after Thanksgiving. The Devil calls it Black Friday.
Reverend Billy Talen, What Would Jesus Buy?
Black is the color ascribed to those terrifying autumnal days when the Stock Market takes a nose dive. Black Monday (October 19, 1987), Black Thursday (October 24, 1929) and the original Black Friday (September 24, 1869), when the price of gold fell dramatically after Jim Fisk and Jay Gould attempted to corner the market.
In the 21st century, Black Friday is day after Thanksgiving and the start of the Christmas shopping season, when stores hope to get their balance sheets back ‘in the black’ (positive, as opposed to ‘in the red’) after one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
The term Black Friday supposedly originated not with accountants but with Philadelphia bus drivers and police officers, who lamented the traffic congestion that inevitably gridlocked the city on the day after Thanksgiving.
In 2008, consumers got a reminder of the crowd-control meaning behind Black Friday’s name. A Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death by a mob of shoppers storming into the Long Island store to buy whatever holiday item is so important that one must kill one’s neighbor to purchase it. A pregnant woman in the same melee was hospitalized and reportedly suffered a miscarriage.
On the other side of the country, an argument in the electronics department of a Palm Desert Toys ‘R’ Us ended with two men shooting each other.
A brief aberration? Or a sign of things to come? According to Reverend Billy Talen, the Shopocalypse is upon us…
Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.