Black Friday: History, Who Created It, And Why Do We Have It?

By | November 20, 2019

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Black Friday shopping. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

In recent decades, a new holiday tradition cropped up in the United States: Black Friday shopping. The day after Thanksgiving, retailers around the country open their doors early, offering incredible deals to the throngs of shoppers who beat down their doors in their haste to secure that year's hottest Christmas gift. The appetite for discounts has become so insatiable that Black Friday has begun encroaching upon Thanksgiving itself, with major retailers opening Thursday evening and staying open all night to extend sales as long possible. But why? Where did this tradition come from? Let's take a look at the origins of Black Friday and just how far the history of this celebration of capitalism goes back.

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An early Thanksgiving celebrations. (

Black Friday Is As Old As Thanksgiving

Americans have been celebrating a fall feast to give thanks for a bountiful harvest for as long as America has been a thing, but it wasn't until Abraham Lincoln became president that the event was officially scheduled for the last Thursday of every November. Although the date has changed over the years, folks began thinking of the day after Thanksgiving as the unofficial start of the Christmas season. It wasn't yet called Black Friday, however, because the term actually meant something else during that time.