Black Friday: the history and reality of the infamous holiday


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People rushing for deals on Black Friday.

John Bishop, North Staff Writer

On Nov. 25, hundreds of thousands of eager deal-seekers flocked to a multitude of stores throughout the nation hunting down the best bargains on Black Friday. For years, shoppers have been bombarded with both lower prices and other shoppers. Every year since 2005, Black Friday has been the busiest shopping day of the year.

The tradition of Black Friday dates back to the1950s, when the day after Thanksgiving was regarded by Philadelphia police as “Black Friday” because of the chaotic nature of the day. Hordes of people flooded into the city in preparation for the Army-Navy football game after Thanksgiving. Retailers took advantage of the over-crowding, and the rest is history.

In some ways, the chaos still applies to the modern Black Friday. The pandemonium and tumult of stores on the day after Thanksgiving is akin to the older meaning of the term. Now, the term “Black Friday” is also synonymous with the official start of the holiday shopping season.

Despite the seemingly guaranteed mayhem, millions of Americans still take their chances of reduced prices. Even some North students participated in Black Friday shopping this year.

Freshman Taylor Stoddart took her chances at Quail Springs Mall on Black Friday in Oklahoma City.

“Black Friday shopping was hectic and stressful at times,” Stoddart said. “But overall, it was an exciting experience.”

Stoddart’s favorite part of Black Friday shopping was the reduced pricing.

“I really liked the deals on everything,” Stoddart said. “It really is the best day for shopping in the year, whether you’re buying a gift or something for yourself.”

Although Stoddart did not encounter any major violence, there were many injuries, and even a few deaths, reported across the nation on Black Friday.

Because of this, many people still detest the tradition of Black Friday.

“I find Black Friday morally reprehensible,” English teacher Katie Dupre said. “Holidays are meant for spending time with family, and there is no material good in the world that is worth getting trampled to death over.”

All in all, the biggest reward Americans reap from the grand tradition that is Black Friday is not just good deals and a bruised eye; Black Friday kicks off the start of the holiday season shopping, which is the busiest and most successful time for many retailers. Though it is controversial, Americans continue to support Black Friday.

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