Black Friday Name Origin Joseph P. Barrett

Black Friday Name Origin Joseph P. Barrett originally was published Nov. 25, 2015. The men responsible for naming the day, Joe Barrett and Nate Kleger were co-workers and friends of William Lawrence Sr. We will never forget you Uncle Joe.

Black Friday Name Origin Joseph P. Barrett
Joseph P. Barrett, the man who gave us “Black Friday”.

Black Friday, in reference to the day after Thanksgiving, was first used in a 1951 article  in the trade publication Factory Management and Maintenance” and concerned the habit of employees calling in sick the day after the holiday to get a four-day weekend.

The article by M. J. Murphy  recommended just making the day a paid holiday.

However, the term’s use as a day of shopping chaos has a Philadelphia root, the popularization of which can be squarely placed on the shoulders of Joseph P. Barrett and Nathan Kleger, who were police reporters with the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin.

Philadelphia traffic squad cops had been using the phrase to describe the massive Center City traffic jams that occurred the day after Thanksgiving. Kleger and Barrett wrote a front-page piece circa 1960 in which they appropriated the phrase. The paper in ensuing years continued with the phrase and local TV soon joined.

And then the nation.

Black Friday Name Origin Joseph P. Barrett

4 thoughts on “Black Friday Name Origin Joseph P. Barrett”

  1. Thanks for letting your readers know about Joe Barrett and Nate Kleger. I wrote Joe’s obit for the Daily News. He had an interesting life — veteran of World War II who went all through the European campaign, and longtime Bulletin writer. I always remember when the Bulletin closed, I asked Joe how that would affect him. He said, “God has brought me this far, he’s not going to drop me now.” And he didn’t.

  2. Hi Jack.
    It’s a real pleasure to see your name on my son’e web site.
    Joe Barrett was one of my closest and best friends. He introduced me to my wife and was Godfather to two of my sons.
    His wife, Josephine and my Marge served as nurses in Korea together.
    Joe and I worked on scores–perhaps hundreds — of stories together, He for the old Bulletin and me for the Daily News.
    Joe was the measuring stick for a police reporter. I still miss him.
    Please stay in touch.

    Best Regards Bill.

  3. I always enjoy mentioning Joe Barrett and Nate Kleger they were great reporters and it was always a pleasure working with them.

  4. Hi, Bill Sr,
    It is good to get to know more about you. I always enjoy reading your Omnibits and learn something from them every time.

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