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A Short & Sweet History of Black Friday

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One of the great American traditions is Black Friday, a hugely-anticipated annual shopping event where retailers offer deep deals and discounts and consumers can get a head start on their holiday shopping.

While the term can be traced back to the 1800s, Black Friday as we know it is rooted in 1950s Philadelphia. The city’s police force used the phrase to describe the throng of suburban shoppers that would visit Philadelphia in the days after Thanksgiving, and big sales were promoted city-wide.

Today, Black Friday has grown into a four-day shopping marathon—five if you include Thanksgiving. Retail giants like Target (TGT - Free Report) , Walmart (WMT - Free Report) , Best Buy (BBY - Free Report) , and Macy’s (M - Free Report) have been gearing up for the unofficial holiday for what feels like weeks now. Will you be braving the crowds this year on Black Friday?

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