What’s the Real History of Black Friday?

The first recorded use of the term “Black Friday” was applied not to post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping but to the financial crisis: in particular, the crash of the US gold market on September 24, 1869. Two notoriously ruthless financiers of Wall Street, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, worked together to buy as much of the nation’s gold as they could, hoping to jack up the price and sell it for astonishing profits. That Friday in September, the plot finally collapsed, bringing the stock market down and bankrupting everyone from Wall Street barons to farmers.

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