I guess the name has different meanings for different people....either from the police and security people dealing with the enormous crowds, or if your looking at it from the retailers and their employees perspective.
Black Friday as a term has been used in multiple contexts, going back to the nineteenth century, where it was associated with a financial crisis in 1869. The earliest uses of "Black Friday" to mean the day after Thanksgiving come from or reference Philadelphia and refer to the heavy traffic on that day. The earliest known reference to "Black Friday" (in this sense), found by Bonnie Taylor-Blake of the American Dialect Society, refers to Black Friday 1965 and makes the Philadelphia origin explicit:
JANUARY 1966 -- " 'Black Friday' is the name which the Philadelphia Police Department has given to the Friday following Thanksgiving Day. It is not a term of endearment to them. 'Black Friday' officially opens the Christmas shopping season in center city, and it usually brings massive traffic jams and over-crowded sidewalks as the downtown stores are mobbed from opening to closing."
But if this day is the year's biggest for retailers, why do they like calling it 'Black Friday'? Recently, merchants and the media have used it instead to refer to the beginning of the period in which retailers go from being 'in the red' (i.e., posting a loss on the books) to being 'in the black' (i.e., turning a profit). "It is a day retailers make profits -- 'black ink', said Grace McFeeley of Cherry Hill Mall.
"I think it came from the media," said William Timmons of Strawbridge & Clothier. "It's the employees, we're the ones who call it 'Black Friday'," said Belle Stephens of Moorestown Mall. "We work extra hard. It's a long, hard day for the employees."
So I say to all my friends and family....Good luck and stay safe, if you're planning on shopping tomorrow. I hope you can get in on all the bargains, without too much of a hassle! Take care :-)