Where did Black Friday Start?

Have you ever found yourself looking into all the madness of the day after Thanksgiving, only to ask: where did Black Friday start? In many ways, it seems like such an odd event.

People go through so many hoops just to save a certain percentage on items in stores, and in many cases the discounts are only on older models that aren’t even particularly in high demand any longer.

Even so, the entire exercise is very much a “big deal” these days, and it isn’t going away. It’s certainly interesting to at least look into the history of Black Friday.

How Black Friday got started - 2019_11_29

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While some of the specifics are a little hard to nail down, there’s been enough documented over the years to provide a general overview for all of the pertinent whens, wheres, and hows.

It would seem that the origins of Black Friday are tied to Thanksgiving parades, events that became more and more commercial towards the late 19th century. With an increased push on Christmas-time consumerism, many major department stores began sponsoring parades of this nature.

Macy’s is obviously one of the biggest examples. Store-sponsored parades naturally began utilizing their air time and widespread media coverage to advertise major sale events for the holidays, with the accompanying start date falling on the very next day.

Believe it or not, the decree that Thanksgiving fall on the third Thursday of every November was first established as late as 1939. President Roosevelt put a presidential proclamation into place to solidify the idea, the result of which was a more regulated guide post for where the holiday shopping season would begin. With a set day of the month now officially reserved, it gradually became more and more of a big deal.

So, where did Black Friday start? When it comes to the United States, the official beginning is tied to the late 1930s and early 1940s. It slowly became a grander cultural phenomenon from there. Interestingly, many stores were originally reluctant to begin advertising their holiday sales before Thanksgiving began, whereas these days almost all of that information is leaked out well in advance.

With major online retailers such as Amazon (and virtually every other major name) also taking part in Black Friday now, it’s clear that this is a major event that’s not going away any time soon. So if you really want to get the best deal on last season’s wares, go ahead and camp out on Thanksgiving and prepare for a battle; it gets crazy out there!

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