Why is it called Black Friday?

Target Black Friday by Gridprop at en.wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, earned its name for a variety of reasons.  Chicago Tribune’s Eric Zorn writes about several instances of the term throughout recent history, mostly having negative connotations.  Retailers sought to reverse-engineer the term to a positive light with folktales describing accounting records moving from red ink, indicating a financial loss, to black ink indicating a profit from the shopping season underway. 

The Holidays, festivals, and celebrations of the world dictionary, which we have in our Credo Reference database–will give the more empiricial description of the term:

Black Friday usually refers either to the infamous Wall Street Panic of September 24, 1869, when Jay Gould and James Fisk tried to “corner” the gold market, or to September 19, 1873, when stock failures caused the Panic of 1873. In England, it is often used by workers to describe May 12, 1926, the day on which the General Strike was ended. It is occasionally used to refer to Good Friday.

Shoppers and retailers in the United States sometimes refer to the day after Thanksgiving as Black Friday because it marks the beginning of the Christmas commercial season and is traditionally a frenetic day of shopping.



Nov 28 – First Automobile Race from Chicago to Evanston

Image from: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/det.4a09790
Digital ID: (digital file from original) det 4a09790 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/det.4a09790 Image from: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/det.4a09790

You know today is Thanksgiving…but you might not know that today also marks a historical race from Chicago to Evanston.  It was the first automobile race, and the average speed was approximately 7.3 miles per hour.

All things British

Spanish InquisitionIn a move as unexpected as the Spanish Inquisition, surviving Monty Python members will reunite for a one-off show at London’s O2 Arena. Scheduled for July next year, tickets for the event went on sale on November 25. Prices start at £26.50. Gifts of shrubbery optional.

TolkienIn a slightly more expected move, following a recent success of the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit adaptations, JRR Tolkien biopic seems to be in the works. Produced by Fox Searchlight, the movie will chronicle key moments in the novelist’s early life and give us an excuse to raid library shelves and reread Silmarillion for the fifth time.

Finally, lest we dare to forget that greatest of Brits, William Shakespeare, here is BBC Culture’s Solvej Shou to the rescue.

For those who prefer their Bard sans Chris Hemsworth and his ‘mew-mew’ hammer, Chicago’s own Shakespeare Theater has had a smashing, $20 per ticket deal going on for years now. Check it out!

Giveaway Table!

giveawaytableDid you know that the Rebecca Crown Library has a FREE giveaway table? Well we do! The free giveaway table typically has anything from free books, movies, school supplies, etc. and is frequently resupplied by librarians, professors, community members and fellow students. The giveaway table is just outside of the Crown 112 and Crown 113 Offices. You will be surprised the treasures that you can find!

On This Day: Lee Harvey Oswald was Murdered

On November 24, 1963 Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who was accused of assassinating US President John F Kennedy, was shot while leaving a Dallas police station. While Oswald was being transported from police headquarters, surrounded by police offices, camera crews and reporters, Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner, made his way through the crowd and shot Oswald at point-blank range. Consequently, Oswald was rushed to Parkland Hospital, which only two days prior was the same hospital that tried to save President JFK’s life, however he died minutes upon his arrival. Although, it has been reported that Jack Ruby states his reasoning for his actions was because he didn’t want Jackie Kennedy to have to go through the trials with her husband’s murder and further concludes “I didn’t want to be a hero-I did it for Jacqueline Kennedy.” In the end, US President John F Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald were murdered leaving Jackie Kennedy a widow and Jack Ruby in court custody, however upon his appeal trial to his death sentence he died from pulmonary embolism from lung cancer.

50th Anniversary of JFK Assassination


Fifty years ago today, on November 22, 1963 US President John F Kennedy was assassinated in Dealey Plaza in Dallas Texas by Lee Harvey Oswald. Kennedy was shot by a sniper during a presidential motorcade, with his wife, Jacqueline Kennedy, by his side. After a ten-month investigation during 1963-64 by the Warren Commission, it was finalized that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination of JFK. According to polls conducted by CBS, Americans still believe that there was a motive behind his assassination. After JFK was shot he was rushed to Parkland Hospital, however it was declared that he had a “moribund”, which meant there was no chance for his survival because of the gunshot wound to his skull. Only thirty minutes after the shooting, at 1:00 p.m. John F Kennedy was declared dead.