Just then Odus perks up hearing “Black Friday” and he forgot that he also brought some history on what that means.
“I completely forgot that while I was doing some Google searching for the history that I came across some information on the history of Black Friday,” says Odus. “If you guys aren’t in a rush to leave, I would like to share that with all of you.”
The history of Black Friday started much earlier than people may think. The day after Thanksgiving has been the unofficial beginning of the Christmas season since the late 19th century when President Lincoln designated the Thanksgiving holiday as the last Thursday in November.
The day after Thanksgiving wasn't called Black Friday then. The name was associated with September 24, 1869. Two speculators, Jay Gould, and James Fisk created a boom-and-bust in gold prices. A stock market crash followed as prices fell 20%. The disruption in gold prices sent commodity prices plummeting 50%. Corruption in Tammany Hall allowed Gould and Fisk to escape without punishment.
In 1905, Canadian department store, Eaton's, began the first Thanksgiving Day parade by bringing Santa on a wagon through the streets of downtown Toronto. In 1913, eight live reindeer pulled Santa's "sleigh." By 1916, seven floats representing nursery rhyme characters joined Santa in the parade.
In 1924, the Eaton's parade inspired Macy's Department Store to launch its famous Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City. Macy's wanted to celebrate its success during the Roaring 20s. The parade boosted shopping for the following day. Retailers had a gentleman's agreement to wait until then before advertising holiday sales.
In 1939, during the Great Depression, Thanksgiving happened to fall during the fifth week of November. Retailers warned they would go bankrupt because the holiday shopping season was too short. They petitioned President Franklin D. Roosevelt to move the Thanksgiving holiday up to the fourth Thursday.
Unfortunately, by this time it was late October. Most people had already made their plans. Some were so upset that they called the holiday "Franksgiving" instead. Only 32 states followed FDR's move. Others celebrated two holidays, which forced some companies to give their employees an extra day off.
In 1941, Congress ended the confusion. It passed a law that made Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November no matter what. This information can be viewed here.
Odus is so happy that he brought this history information to share with his friends. It’s now time for all of them to head on home.
“Thanks for coming,” Tiffi says. “I hope that you all had a good time today. I love when we get together and celebrate. Sometimes we just need that break from helping the players with their levels. Hey, maybe we can do this again on Christmas Day.”
With that thought in mind, they
all said goodbye to each other.
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