Hope­fully you’ve sur­vived Black Fri­day, Black Satur­day and so on

Belleville News-Democrat (Sunday) - - Lifestyle - BY WALLY SPIERS

I hope you all sur­vived Black Fri­day, the day af­ter Thanks- giv­ing when re­tail­ers of­fer spe­cial deals to tempt Christ­mas shop­pers.

It’s called black be­cause it sup­pos­edly is the time when stores make enough to off­set losses from the rest of the year, or go into the black. Black is good although re­tail­ers, be­ing re­tail­ers have pushed Black Fri­day back into Thurs­day with spe­cial, spe­cial deals to draw shop­pers who are look­ing for some­thing to do af­ter Thanks- giv­ing din­ner.

And likely you have made it through Cy­ber Mon­day, the newer pro­mo­tion where ev­ery­one of­fers good deals on­line to draw busi­ness. Again, some have tried to ex­pand this day by stretch­ing it into Cy­ber Week be­cause in Amer­ica one of any­thing is never enough.

Maybe you suc­cumbed to Giv­ing Tues­day when ev­ery­one is sup­posed to do­nate to char­ity.

That’s a lot of day names to nav­i­gate but it doesn’t even scrape the bot­tom of the bar­rel. If you do a lit­tle re­search you find that every day of the week is black in some ac­counts.

Per­haps the most fa­mous is Black Thurs­day, Oct. 24, 1929, when stocks fell a calami­tous 11 per­cent to trig­ger the be­gin­ning of the great crash. Things re­cov­ered some­what the next few days but then came Oct. 29, 1929 also known as Black Tues­day, be­cause stocks fell even fur­ther, kick­ing off the Great De­pres­sion.

Wikipedia has a list of more than 20 events also la­beled Black Thurs­day in­clud­ing the loss of 60 bombers and 600 men by the United States dur­ing a bomb­ing raid on ball bear­ing plants in Ger­many in 1943, and the Thurs­day when the Panic of 1873 be­gan.

Be­sides the well known Black Fri­day of re­tail­ing, some peo­ple re­fer to Good Fri­day as Black Fri­day, show­ing that some­times names de­pend upon your point of view.

The most fa­mous Black Satur­day I found came on Oct. 27, 1962, dur­ing the Cuban mis­sile cri­sis when the Cubans shot down a U2 spy plane in the mid­dle of a tense stand­off be­tween the United States and the Soviet Union. Many feared a nu­clear war might break out but ten­sions were de­fused.

On Black Sun­day, April 14,

1935, a gi­ant dust storm filled the sky over the Great Plains, help­ing lead to the nick­name of the Dust Bowl. The storm spread dust as far as the East Coast and helped dev­as­tate drought-stricken farm­land in the Mid­west just to add a lit­tle more sad­ness to the Great De­pres­sion.

Black Mon­day, Oct. 19, 1987, saw the largest per­cent­age drop in the stock mar­ket. The mar­ket would re­cover rather quickly but the name stuck.

In more re­cent nam­ings, po­lice de­part­ments and some other peo­ple have be­gun calling the Wed­nes­day be­fore Thanks­giv­ing Black­out Wed­nes­day for a sober­ing rea­son. Col­lege stu­dents who are home for Thanks­giv­ing Break are known to get to­gether with old friends and many drink un­til they black out. It even in­spired a movie called “Drinks­giv­ing.” Some po­lice agen­cies know it as Drunk­s­giv­ing be­cause there are so many drunk driv­ers on the road.

Not all events la­beled black are bad. My high school alma mater. Wellsville-Mid­dle­town R-I in Mis­souri sched­uled black­out the other day. But that called for all the fans to wear black, one of the team col­ors, which are black and gold, even though the school fight song asks us to be faith­ful to the yel­low and the black.

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