Did you survive Black Friday? If yes, congratulations. If not, no need to respond.
The history of “Black Friday” is not black or white. In fact, it’s about a grey as “Fifty Shades of Grey,” about as black as the darkest of rumors…or facts, and about as white as commerce and the media can paint it.
History, up until nearly the end of the 20th century, had three versions of “Black Friday,” but history is being changed, embellished or eradicated, to conform with our more politically correct, kinder and more caring society today. It is difficult to understand why a kinder, more liberal and politically correct society endures, ignores or tolerates the pushing and shoving, destruction of property, disruption of business and traffic and the traumatization of people’s lives this day.
In the early 19th century, after the harvest season ended, traders sold their slaves (often the day after Thanksgiving) to other owners and lumbermen who needed slaves for their winter work. This fact (or fiction) remained a part of history until it was omitted from text books during the past few decades, and completed erased this past decade.
In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, people who were tired of working their butts off during WWII would call in sick the day after Thanksgiving in order to enjoy a 4 day holiday. Business owners referred to this as Black Friday.
By 1961 the term “Black Friday” (and “Black Saturday” as well) was being commonly used in a derisive sense by Philadelphia police, who had to deal with the mayhem and headaches caused by all the extra pedestrian and vehicular traffic created by hordes of shoppers heading for the city’s downtown stores on the two days after Thanksgiving. (Snopes.com, 20Nov2016)
Today, the popular alternative explanation for the origins of “Black Friday” is that it is the day on which retailers finally began to show a profit for the year (in accounting terms, moving from being “in the red” to “in the black”) after operating at an overall loss from January through mid-November. So Black Friday has become the most popular, frenzied shopping day of the year.
Black Friday is not a “racist” term and has nothing to do with those shopping, although it is interesting to learn that 84% of Blacks shop while only 48% of Whites shop on “Black Friday.” So, if you did venture out on this marvelous or treacherous day, (depending on your opinion) hopefully you don’t have a black eye, or a red scar or even white bandages as proof you risked your life on “Black Friday.” Oh yeah… here is another thing you may not know: Overall, store security personnel is increased by an average of 30% on Black Friday, yet theft increases almost 70%… but what the heck… things weren’t worth as much on “Black Friday!”
Cheers to all you survivors.. and to those wise enough to wait until the ‘Day After Christmas” to get the really GOOD DEALS.
Happy Thanksgiving today to all. Thanksgiving unofficially started 395 years ago as (considered by many, Separatists & Savages) “Pilgrims and Native Americans” peacefully gathered to enjoy a bountiful harvest and give thanks for a successful crop year, plentiful food and their survival.
I’m sure we all have something to be thankful for today, so lets celebrate with the same gratitude our forefathers had.
A brief History of “How Thanksgiving Started & Why We Celebrate It” is below:
In 1609 a group of Pilgrims left England for the religious freedom in Holland where they lived and prospered, however their children were becoming more like the Dutch than English, so the “Pilgrims” decided to leave Holland after getting financial support from English investors.
On Sept. 6, 1620 the Pilgrims set sail for the New World on a ship called the Mayflower. They sailed from Plymouth, England and aboard were 44 Pilgrims who referred to themselves as the “Saints” and 66 others, whom the Pilgrims called the “Strangers.”
The long trip was cold and damp and took 65 days. The trip was difficult and many passengers became sick and one person died by the time land was sighted on November 10th. The long trip had led to many disagreements between the “Saints” and the “Strangers.” After land was sighted a meeting was held and an agreement was worked out, called the Mayflower Compact, which guaranteed equality and unified the two groups. They joined together and named themselves the “Pilgrims.” A landing party was sent ashore to locate a good area to settle and the Mayflower dropped anchor in mid to late November or early December and the Pilgrims settled in Patuxet, which is now called Plymouth, where the legendary Plymouth Rock can be found.
The first winter was devastating to the Pilgrims. The cold, snow and sleet was exceptionally heavy, interfering with the workers as they tried to construct their settlement. They also feared attack by the local Native American Indians, but the Patuxets were a peaceful group and did not attack. March brought warmer weather and the health of the Pilgrims improved, but many had died during the long winter. Of the 110 Pilgrims and crew who left England, less that 50 survived the first winter.
On March 16, 1621 , what was to become an important event took place, an Indian brave walked into the Plymouth settlement. The Pilgrims were frightened until the Indian called out “Welcome” (in English!).
His name was Samoset and he was an Abnaki Indian. He had learned English from the captains of fishing boats that had sailed off the coast. After staying the night Samoset left the next day. He soon returned with another Indian named Squanto who spoke better English than Samoset. Squanto told the Pilgrims of his voyages across the ocean and his visits to England and Spain. It was in England where he had learned English.
Squanto’s importance to the Pilgrims was enormous and it can be said that they would not have survived without his help. It was Squanto who taught the Pilgrims how to tap the maple trees for sap. He taught them which plants were poisonous and which had medicinal powers. He taught them how to plant the Indian corn by heaping the earth into low mounds with several seeds and fish in each mound. The decaying fish fertilized the corn. He also taught them to plant other crops with the corn, and also, to hunt and trap turkeys. Today, the Turkey, which helped save the Pilgrims, is our symbol of Thanksgiving.
The harvest in October was very successful and the Pilgrims found themselves with enough food to put away for the winter. There was corn, fruits and vegetables, fish to be packed in salt, and meat to be cured over smoky fires.
The Pilgrims had much to celebrate, they had built homes in the wilderness, they had raised enough crops to keep them alive during the long coming winter, they were at peace with their Indian neighbors. They had beaten the odds and it was time to celebrate.
The Pilgrim Governor William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving to be shared by all the colonists and the neighboring Native Americans. They invited Squanto and the other Indians to join them in their celebration. Their chief, Massasoit, and 90 braves came to the celebration which lasted for 3 days. They played games, ran races, marched and played drums. The Indians demonstrated their skills with the bow and arrow and the Pilgrims demonstrated their musket skills. Exactly when the festival took place is uncertain, but it is believed the celebration took place in mid-October.
The following year the Pilgrims harvest was not as bountiful, as they were still unused to growing the corn. During the year they had also shared their stored food with newcomers and the Pilgrims ran short of food and several more died.
The 3rd year brought a spring and summer that was hot and dry with the crops dying in the fields. Governor Bradford ordered a day of fasting and prayer, and it was soon thereafter that the rain came. To celebrate – November 29th of that year (1623) was proclaimed a day of thanksgiving. This date is believed to be the real true beginning of the present day… “Thanksgiving Day.” Side Note: When I was asked to explain our Thanksgiving tradition while I worked in Siberia, I told our group who threw a party for us Americans, about how this holiday got started, as described above. I also told them, that in the year 1623, The Jeffress Clan arrived from Scotland & Wales, and the America has prospered from that time on. 🙂
The custom of an annually celebrated thanksgiving, held after the harvest, continued through the years. During the American Revolution (late 1770’s) a day of national thanksgiving was suggested by the Continental Congress. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln appointed a national day of thanksgiving. Since then each president has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation, usually designating the fourth Thursday of each November as the holiday. Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving day in mid-October. Today, we celebrate ours, so Happy Thanksgiving.
Happy Veterans Day LTC Scott Jeffress
Happy Veterans Day Scott from your proud dad. You and Ian give Chris a call. Tomorrow is his big fund-raiser day for Good Time Benefit.Com . Cheers, Dad.
TODAY, WE SALUTE AND THANK ALL VETERANS
Today is a special day, the day we honor, salute and thank all those who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States, to defend and secure our nation so that we may live free of coercion or oppression, and continue to strive for peace and the pursuit of happiness. Thank you veterans.