The history behind the reason why the day after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday goes back to the 1950s. Factory managers were said to have referred to the Friday after Thanksgiving as Black Friday because so many workers called in sick.
Philadelphia police are said to have coined Black Friday in 1966 in reference to the busy sidewalks, traffic jams, and crowded downtown stores the day after Thanksgiving.
In the early 1980s Black Friday finally took on a positive connotation as the day that retailers began raking in profits (in the black) after operating at a loss (in the red) for most of the year.
More retailers this year are starting their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving. Walmart, Hhgregg, Toys R Us, Sears and K-Mart will open at 8 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, 2012. Target and Shopko will open at 9 p.m. on Thursday. Tanger Outlets and Anna's Linens will open at 10 p.m. on Thursday.