A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Black Friday (Big Friday) (9/24)
“How do you tell a proper joke about eating?"/"In jest.” (9/23)
“What did the cauliflower bank robber say to the broccoli getaway driver?"/"Floret.” (9/23)
“I decided to cross the road, not because I’m brave, but because I’m chicken” (9/23)
“I woke up this morning to a robber in my house searching for money. I joined him” (9/23)
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Entry from September 24, 2017
Black Friday (Big Friday)

Entry in progress—B.P.

Wikipedia: Black Friday (shopping)
Black Friday (/ˈblæk ˈfraɪdeɪ/) is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States (the fourth Thursday of November). Since 1952, it has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the U.S., and most major retailers open very early (and more recently during overnight hours) and offer promotional sales. Black Friday is not an official holiday, but California and some other states observe “The Day After Thanksgiving” as a holiday for state government employees, sometimes in lieu of another federal holiday such as Columbus Day. Many non-retail employees and schools have both Thanksgiving and the following Friday off, which, along with the following regular weekend, makes it a four-day weekend, thereby increasing the number of potential shoppers. It has routinely been the busiest shopping day of the year since 2005, although news reports, which at that time were inaccurate, have described it as the busiest shopping day of the year for a much longer period of time. Similar stories resurface year upon year at this time, portraying hysteria and shortage of stock, creating a state of positive feedback.

7historical newspapers
November 29, 1958 (Page 1 of 30)
The Philadelphia Inquirer Public Ledger (1934-1969); Philadelphia [Philadelphia]29 Nov 1958: 1.
...108-page advertisement-crammed Thurs day Inquirer, BIGGEST hitBIG hitFRIDAY
...lines reflected the police estimate that this was the biggest “hitBig
...hitPhiladelphia and vicinity: Windy and cold today. High near 38. Fair and

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November 25, 1960 (Page 1 of 42)
The Philadelphia Inquirer Public Ledger (1934-1969); Philadelphia [Philadelphia]25 Nov 1960: 1.
... To Jam City Stores In ‘hitBig hitFriday’ Spree This is “hitBig hitFriday,”
...” ‘hitBig hitFriday’ is the biggest Continued on Page 5, Column 4 the schools

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November 25, 1960 (Page 5 of 42)
The Philadelphia Inquirer Public Ledger (1934-1969); Philadelphia [Philadelphia]25 Nov 1960: 5.
... “hitBig hitFriday,” it adds to troubles of the police. Mayor Richardson
...hitPHILADELPHIA LOcusf 3-5680 . Srort Hours .9:30 to 9 leaders in Austin,

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November 26, 1960 (Page 1 of 30)
The Philadelphia Inquirer Public Ledger (1934-1969); Philadelphia [Philadelphia]26 Nov 1960: 1.
... Part of the vast crowd that thronged to center city for “hitBig hitFriday,”
...hitPhiladelphia and vicinity: Mostly fair Saturday and Sunday Sunday with a
...and a goat will fill hitPhiladelphia Stadium to the brim Saturday for the 61st

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November 26, 1960 (Page 8 of 30)
The Philadelphia Inquirer Public Ledger (1934-1969); Philadelphia [Philadelphia]26 Nov 1960: 8.
...this week end, hitPhiladelphia is “Big Town, U. S. A.” Starting
... to be a slight favorite to win the game, but hitPhiladelphia is obviously the
...the Ivy-festooned Penn-Cornell game, going on through “hitBig hitFriday

28 November 1960, Women’s Wear Daily (New York, NY), “Initial Christmas Sales Run Even To Slightly Ahead: New York and Cleveland Prove Exceptions — Volume Not Commensurate With Traffic,” pg. 2, col. 5:
(From Philadelphia.—ed.)
All sources were bitter about newspapers and, particularly, repeated radio news bulletins reiterating Mayor Dilworth’s plea for people to leave their cars at home and take public transportation, and reports from police officials forecasting record traffic jams, both vehicular and pedestrian, for “black Friday.”

Old Fulton Post Cards
1 December 1961, Shortsville-Manchester Enterprise (Shortsville, NY), “Around and About,” pg. 4, col. 2:
Kathie Caulkin, our intrepid advertising manager, made a serious mistake in judgment last Friday. Took her three kids to Rochester on the day all city police call “Black Friday.”

Besides being the day after Thanksgiving—thus one of the busiest shopping days in the year—bus drivers were still on strike, adding to automotive traffic. Katie reports she waited through 13 changes of a single traffic light—then had to back up to get into the parking garage. “I didn’t care if I crumpled fifty fenders at that point,” Katie reports.

27 November 1965, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, “Yule Shoppers Jam Midcity” by Miki Mahoney, pg. 1, col. 2:
It was “Big Friday” in police jargon. The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year in center city.

25 November 1966, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, pg. 1, col. 2:
‘Big Friday’ Jams Midcity

25 November 1994, Philadelphia (PA) Daily News, “This Friday Was Black with Traffic” by Joseph Barrett, pg. 80:
The term “Black Friday” came out of the old Philadelphia Police Department’s traffic squad. The cops used it to describe the worst traffic jams which annually occurred in Center City on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
In 1959, the old Evening Bulletin assigned me to police administration, working out of City Hall. Nathan Kleger was the police reporter who covered Center City for the Bulletin.

In the early 1960s, Kleger and I put together a front-page story for Thanksgiving and we appropriated the police term “Black Friday” to describe the terrible traffic conditions.

Center City merchants complained loudly to Police Commissioner Albert N. Brown that drawing attention to traffic deterred customers from coming downtown. I was worried that maybe Kleger and I had made a mistake in using such a term, so I went to Chief Inspector Albert Trimmer to get him to verify it.

Trimmer, tongue in cheek, would say only that Black Friday was used to describe the Valentine’s Day massacre of mobsters in Chicago.

The following year, Brown put out a press release describing the day as ‘’Big Friday.” But Kleger and I held our ground, and once more said it was ‘’Black Friday.”

Posted by Barry Popik
Sunday, September 24, 2017 • Permalink

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