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Black Friday, a term now synonymous with shopping frenzies and massive sales, has an intriguing origin story.
In 2023, Black Friday is set to take place on November 24th. The day starts at the stroke of midnight and extends for a full 24 hours. It succeeds Thanksgiving, which is traditionally celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. The week leading up to Black Friday 2023, starting from November 20th, has been aptly named Black Week, offering a range of discounts and deals, signalling the beginning of the holiday shopping season. It is followed by Cyber Monday extending the time for black Friday deals.
Black Friday Historical Background: The 1869 Gold Market Crisis
The original significance of Black Friday dates back to September 24, 1869, and it had nothing to do with shopping or sales. This day marked a massive financial crisis in the United States, deeply rooted in the gold market.
The main characters in this historical event were Jay Gould and James Fisk, two businessmen who exploited insider information and high-level connections.
They had links to the then-president Ulysses S. Grant’s brother-in-law, which they used to attempt to gain control over the U.S. gold market.
Their scheme was to buy massive amounts of gold, hoping to drive the price sky-high before selling it off for enormous profits. This nefarious plan, however, had far-reaching consequences.
The Catastrophic Gold Price Collapse
The actions of Gould and Fisk led to artificial inflation in gold prices. The government, realising the extent of the manipulation and its potential repercussions, intervened by releasing a substantial amount of gold into the market.
This sudden move caused gold prices to plummet, leading to a devastating market collapse in the financial market. The consequences were severe – banks went bankrupt, companies closed down, and thousands of people lost their jobs overnight. This day of financial chaos and despair was thus termed “Black Friday.”
Evolution of the Term “Black Friday”
Over the years, the term “Black Friday” underwent a dramatic transformation. From being a day remembered for a financial disaster and global market crisis, it evolved into a positive event, marking the onset of the Christmas shopping season.
This transition is a testament to the changing times and consumer culture. The day after Thanksgiving became known for its significant sales and discounts, drawing in millions of shoppers who eagerly await this day to snag deals on various products, making it one of the biggest shopping days in history.
The Modern Context of Black Friday
Today, Black Friday stands in stark contrast to its historical roots. It is a day characterised by shopping days of long queues, bustling malls, and online shopping sprees. While black Friday sales is a time of excitement and great deals for consumers, there is also great historical significance of this day.
The transition from a gold market crash to a shopping paradise is a fascinating journey, showcasing the dynamic nature of cultural and economic shifts.
Investing in Gold: A Nod to History
The historical significance of gold, especially in the context of Black Friday, underscores its status as a stable and smart investment option.
Consider reading a more extensive guide on investing in precious metals, bringing the story full circle from its historical roots to modern-day financial wisdom.
Black Friday’s metamorphosis from a historical day of financial turmoil to a global retail extravaganza encapsulates the fascinating evolution of both culture and economy. Initially marked by the 1869 Gold Market Crisis, a day of catastrophic financial collapse and despair, it has been completely redefined in the modern era.
Today, it heralds the beginning of the holiday shopping season, characterised by enthusiasm, bustling malls, and a bonanza of online deals. This shift from economic gloom to consumer jubilation not only highlights the dynamic nature of societal norms and practices but also serves as a reminder of the enduring significance of gold in the financial landscape.
The article’s closing note, which draws attention to gold as a wise investment option, subtly ties back to the day’s origins, showcasing how history often informs present-day choices.
Black Friday, therefore, stands as a testament to the constant evolution of our world, retaining its name but altering its essence from a symbol of crisis to one of celebration and consumerism.