Common myth: The term Black Friday, stems from retailers using the day’s huge receipts as their opportunity to “get in the black” and become profitable for the year.
Reality: the name “Black Friday” dates back to Philadelphia in the mid-1960s, and the day following Thanksgiving and the traditional Army-Navy football game that’s played in Philadelphia on the following Saturday. The crowds in the city were great for retailers, but a huge pain for police, cab drivers and anyone who had to drive in the city.
The Philadelphia Police Department started referring to the annual day of commercial bedlam as “Black Friday” to reflect how irritating it was.
Storeowners didn’t love having their biggest shopping day saddled with such a negative moniker, so in the early 1980s someone began floating the accounting angle to put a more positive spin on the big day.