Why is black friday, black friday afterall?


Pilar Gomes, Staff Writer

As fall festivities head our way, so does Thanksgiving, but most importantly, so does Black Friday. Ah, Black Friday, every teenager’s heaven. A day when prices are so low, they touch the floor and crowds of middle age moms crowd the malls savagely fighting each other for the best deals. We have grown up hearing about Black Friday but never really looking deep enough to ask why that Friday is called Black Friday in the first place?

Many of us only connect Black Friday with shopping malls and low deals. However, the name and origin of this holiday has some pretty dark history behind it. Black Friday was first defined as the Crash of the U.S gold market on September 24th, 1869. Two horrible Wall Street Financiers, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, worked together to buy up as much as they could of the nation’s gold, hoping to drive the price sky-high and sell it for astonishing profits. On that Friday in September, this plan failed, sending the stock market into free-fall and bankrupting everyone from Wall Street barons to farmers. A stock market crash followed as prices fell by 20%. The disruption in gold prices sent commodity prices plummeting 50%. Many of the judges were bribed and so it allowed Jay Gould and Jim Fisk to escape without punishment. 

It is pretty ironic how such a destructive day in history has been portrayed in such a positive light in modern society. We have to learn about Back Friday to fully understand the role in which it plays in our everyday life. So as Thanksgiving inches closer and Black Friday comes into view, don’t think about the high prices but also the moments in history that led to this point in time.