I hope you all survived Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when retailers offer special deals to tempt Christmas shoppers.
It’s called black because it supposedly is the time when stores make enough to offset losses from the rest of the year, or go into the black. Black is good although retailers, being retailers have pushed Black Friday back into Thursday with special, special deals to draw shoppers who are looking for something to do after Thanksgiving dinner.
And likely you have made it through Cyber Monday, the newer promotion where everyone offers good deals online to draw business. Again, some have tried to expand this day by stretching it into Cyber Week because in America one of anything is never enough.
Maybe you succumbed to Giving Tuesday when everyone is supposed to donate to charity.
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That’s a lot of day names to navigate but it doesn’t even scrape the bottom of the barrel. If you do a little research you find that every day of the week is black in some accounts.
Perhaps the most famous is Black Thursday, Oct. 24, 1929 when stocks fell a calamitous 11 percent to trigger the beginning of the great crash. Things recovered somewhat the next few days but then came Oct. 29, 1929 also known as Black Tuesday, because stocks fell even further, kicking off the Great Depression.
Wikipedia has a list of more than 20 events also labeled Black Thursday including the loss of 60 bombers and 600 men by the United States during a bombing raid on ball bearing plants in Germany in 1943, and the Thursday when the Panic of 1873 began.
Besides the well known Black Friday of retailing, some people refer to Good Friday as Black Friday, showing that sometimes names depend upon your point of view.
The most famous Black Saturday I found came on Oct. 27, 1962 during the Cuban missile crisis when the Cubans shot down a U2 spy plane in the middle of a tense standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union. Many feared a nuclear war might break out but tensions were defused.
On Black Sunday, April 14, 1935, a giant dust storm filled the sky over the Great Plains, helping lead to the nickname of the Dust Bowl. The storm spread dust as far as the East Coast and helped devastate drought-stricken farmland in the Midwest just to add a little more sadness to the Great Depression.
Black Monday, Oct. 19, 1987, saw the largest percentage drop in the stock market. The market would recover rather quickly but the name stuck.
In more recent namings, police departments and some other people have begun calling the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Blackout Wednesday for a sobering reason. College students who are home for Thanksgiving Break are known to get together with old friends and many drink until they black out. It even inspired a movie called “Drinksgiving.” Some police agencies know it as Drunksgiving because there are so many drunk drivers on the road.
Not all events labeled black are bad. My high school alma mater. Wellsville-Middletown R -I in Missouri scheduled blackout the other day. But that called for all the fans to wear black, one of the team colors, which are black and gold, even though the school fight song asks us to be faithful to the yellow and the black.