Black Friday is as American as Thanksgiving! But how did it originate? Here are some facts.
1. In The Beginning: The first Black Friday took place the day after the first Thanksgiving when pilgrims waited in the wee hours of the morning for their neighborhood target to open. The target belonged to Henry Goodswallow, a blacksmith who agreed to let everyone shoot an arrow at his nice target.
2. There Was a Fight: Dorothy Holbeck and Margaret Winslow grabbed the last bonnet at Susanna Winslow’s Discount Bonnet Blowout Sale at the same time. Holbeck pulled the bonnet off of Winslow’s head, allegedly calling her “basic” which, in Puritan times, roughly translated to “has terrible smallpox.”
3. Origin Story: The term “Black Friday” refers to Thomas Tinker Black, an early settler and carpenter by trade, who was trampled to death while attempting to purchase a brand-new state-of-the-art 52-inch looking-glass (mirror).
4. It Wasn’t Enough: Francis Fletcher declared “this day has been great but honestly I wish we could have started shopping right after dinner last night. Maybe next year these wonderful sales can begin on Thursday while we are having our dinner of giving thanks. Say, that gives me an idea…”
5. Not Everyone Participated: George and Sarah Standish decided to stay home, agreeing that it would be easier to purchase their wares “online” (there was a big line in the town square where everyone could purchase their wares).
6. It Was So Fun: Everyone had such a good time on Black Friday, they decided to add another holiday, “Cyber Monday.” Nobody knew what that meant and it made no sense. A lot of people died.
7. Most People Died: For some reason or other, almost everybody died.
Rachel Wenitsky is a writer, actor and improviser in NYC. She writes and performs sketch with Gentlemen Party and Pop Roulette at The PIT and she twitters at @rachelwenitsky.