Black Friday history and sales

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top view of silver macbook beside a shopping cart and black friday sale signage
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

When you Google the history of Black Friday, there is not one easy explanation. offers several:

  • The first Black Friday occurred in 1869 after financier Jay Gould and railway businessman James Fisk attempted to corner the gold market, which resulted in financial panic and the market’s collapse. A little over 60 years later, on October 29, 1929, another stock market crash, referred to as Black Tuesday, marked the onset of the Great Depression.
  • In the 1950s, factory managers started referring to the Friday after Thanksgiving as Black Friday because many of their workers decided to call in sick, extending their holiday weekend.
  • About ten years later, Black Friday was used by Philadelphia traffic cops to describe the day after Thanksgiving because they had to work 12-hour shifts in terrible traffic. 

In today’s version, Black Friday is the kick-off of the holiday shopping season. It means deep discounts. For some, it’s as much a part of the family tradition as eating turkey on Thanksgiving.

But, in the spirit of competition and to get your business, most stores no longer wait for Black Friday to start discounting merchandise. Many sales are already underway:

Best Buy



Home Depot



Pet Supermarket



Big Lots

BJ’s Wholesale Club


Sam’s Club




Old Navy

Urban Outfitters

WINK News is not affiliated with any of these sales. This is only intended to provide you with information. Check with each store, as offers may change.

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