Few shoppers know the origin of the term ‘Black Friday’

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Stores were packed Friday with shoppers hunting for Black Friday deals, but many of them had no idea where the name “Black Friday” came from.

Thousands of people made their way to the Triangle Town Center to get as much of their holiday shopping done as possible the day after Thanksgiving.

Some of them were quite familiar with the “shopping holiday.”

“I’m usually out one o’clock in the morning by myself, none of my friends want to come with me, but they’ll send a list,” said Tracey Gillians-Pittman.

While many people at the mall were familiar with the deals on Black Friday, the origin of the name was a mystery.

“We trying to figure out why they call it Black Friday, why is that?” said Tammie Toxey.

Many people think the origin of the name comes from accounting terms when stores get out of the “red” in their books and into the “black” from all of the sales.

But according to history.com, Black Friday comes from 1950s Philadelphia.

Police officers were forced to work the day every year because to the rush of suburban Pennsylvanians making their way into the city for the Army versus Navy game on Saturday. Not only were police forced to work, but they worked long shifts, dealing with traffic problems and shoplifting.

By the 1960s merchants had taken advantage of the extra people in the city and adopted the holiday as their own even trying to change the name “black” to “big.”

By the 1980s “Black Friday” was known nationwide.

But for people shopping decades later, while the origin of the name may have been lost, the importance has not been.

“It’s fun. It’s traditional. It’s good deals. It’s fast paced, the crowds, it’s just fun,” said Sherry Lloyd.