And why did they name it "Black" of all things? Is it because they want shoppers to start lining up in the black of night? Is it because it blackens the day after Thanksgiving for those who have retail jobs and want to keep them (particularly in this economy)? Or is it because it creates the kind of blackness or customer frenzy/financial crisis that was originally seen back in 1869?
It turns out (according to Wikipedia, anyway):
"The earliest known reference to 'Black Friday' to refer to the day after Thanksgiving was made in a 1966 publication on the day's significance in Philadelphia: "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."
"The derivation is also clear in an Associated Press article entitled 'Folks on Buying Spree Despite Down Economy,' which ran in the Titusville Herald on [November 29, 1975]: "Store aisles were jammed. Escalators were nonstop people. It was the first day of the Christmas shopping season and despite the economy, folks here went on a buying spree. ...'That's why the bus drivers and cab drivers call today 'Black Friday,' a sales manager at Gimbels said as she watched a traffic cop trying to control a crowd of jaywalkers. 'They think in terms of headaches it gives them.'"
So, out of sympathy for those poor retail persons, cops, taxi drivers, bus drivers, and basically all for whom this is a truly BLACK day, I'm staying home...except to see a movie this afternoon.