The history of Black Friday in Denver

6:16 PM, Nov 21, 2012   |    comments
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The shopping center's General Manager of 17 holiday seasons has prepared for just as many Fridays after Thanksgiving.

"It's always been the traditional start of the holiday shopping season," LeMasters said.

The Friday after Thanksgiving has always been a day TV crews cover the mall madness and the holiday rush.


"[It's] kind of a slow news day for you guys," LeMasters joked. "So we become, really, the best option."

LeMasters is right.

History shows 9NEWS has always covered stories about shopping the day after Thanksgiving. Of course, there are the constants.

Take Friday Nov. 24, 1977. Video showed moms dragging their kids through the mall as men seemed to wonder, "Why am I here again?"

How about Nov. 26, 1982?

President Reagan was in Denver that week, not to do any shopping, of course.

But it just so happened, it was the same month a recession had come to an end.

And leave it to Friday of that week when we heard a mall spokesman say this:

"I think it's very optimistic in Denver we're somewhat insulated from the recession," the spokesman said in the file video.

Sound familiar?
It's interesting how we've labeled "Black Friday" over the years on the 9News file tape logs.

In 1982, it was just "Christmas Shopping" Five years later, it was just a "Busy Day." In 1992, we previewed a "Shopping Outlook."

Then in the early 2000's we started to see the crowds and the lines. But even then, it wasn't "Black Friday" just yet.

"If you'd said that like five to seven years ago, people would wonder, 'Well what's Black Friday?" LeMasters said.

Black Friday took a whole new meaning last year when stores opened on Thanksgiving Day. Some call it "Grey Thursday."

Already in Denver this year, a man camped in line at a Best Buy on Monday.

We love our shopping come the end of this week.

"We have six weeks to make the holiday season happen," LeMasters said.

And it's fascinating how history tells us that story.

"Let's face it, the Christmas season, the six weeks of the season represent 40 percent of what they do on an annual basis," a Southglenn Mall Spokesman said on a 9News File Tape from Nov. 27, 1992.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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