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Black Friday

Originally "black Friday" took its name from the black vestments worn by clergy of Good Friday services and applied to only one Friday of each year, namely the Friday preceding Easter Sunday.  Yet owning to coincidences in both the United States and England, the phrase has taken on another meaning, far removed from anything religious. 

In financial circles "black Friday" is a specific reference to certain days of financial panics and a general name for those too-frequent days on which investors suffer heavy losses.

The first "black Friday" was on December 6, 1745, in England, after news reached there that Charles Edward Stuart, the young Pretender (to the British throne) had arrived in Derby.  These tidings caused panic and gigantic losses resulted.  The second "black Friday" occurred on May 11, 1866, when the Banking-House of  Overend, Gurney and Company, closed its doors, causing widespread ruin in England's financial centers.

On Friday, September 26, 1869, the United States suffered its first "black Friday" when Jay Gould and his associates tried to corner the entire gold market.  Panic ensued until the secretary of the treasury eased the market by releasing four million dollars in gold.  The last American "black Friday" occurred on September 19, 1873, the beginning of the financial panic of the same year.  


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