Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday and the Presidential Thanksgiving Pardon

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving Day in the USA and falls on the Friday after the fourth Thursday in November. It is a busy shopping day and is a holiday in some states. Many people have a day off work or choose to take a day from their quota of annual leave on Black Friday. Some people use this to make trips to see family members or friends who live in other areas or to go on vacation. Others use it to start shopping for the Christmas season. Many stores have special offers and lower their prices on some goods, such as toys.
Image credits: Harshal Desai, via Flickr
Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days in the USA. There are two popular theories as to why the day after Thanksgiving Day is called Black Friday. One theory is that the wheels of vehicles in heavy traffic on the day after Thanksgiving Day left many black markings on the road surface, leading to the term Black Friday. The other theory is that the term Black Friday comes from an old way of recording business accounts. Losses were recorded in red ink and profits in black ink. Many businesses, particularly small businesses, started making profits prior to Christmas. Many hoped to start showing a profit, marked in black ink, on the day after Thanksgiving Day.
In TimeAndDate (adapted and abridged)

The Presidency, Barack Obama said at the White House Wednesday, has 'many awesome and solemn responsibilities.' 'This is not one of them,' he added. The tradition of the President pardoning a turkey around Thanksgiving is probably America’s silliest tradition, and has only grown more cartoonish over time. The National Turkey Federation has donated two turkeys to the White House every year since 1947, according to the Washington Post, and Presidents Harry Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower ate their birds. Now the pardoned turkeys are given names - 'Caramel' and 'Popcorn' this year - with their height, weight, walk ('steady and deliberate' and 'proud strut') and favorite song dutifully documented on the White House website. Caramel bobs to 'Bad Romance' by Lady Gaga; Popcorn prefers 'Halo' by Beyoncé. Read more HERE.
In TIME Magazine (abridged)
Image credits: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
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