U.S. President was the Father of Black Friday?
Exodus 10:15 “For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the
land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the
fruit of the trees which the hail had left: and there remained not any
green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field………”
No, this Bible verse was not describing throngs of Black Friday shoppers
busting through the mall doors just hours after
Thanksgiving dinner, but
it sure sounds like it! Yes, Black Friday is coming soon.
Have you ever asked yourself why the fourth Thursday of the month is set
Thanksgiving? President Abraham Lincoln was the first to
declare Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863 and it was celebrated on
the last Thursday in November. But it was Franklin Roosevelt who set the
date as the fourth Thursday of November. What was his motivation for
changing the date? Franklin Roosevelt wanted to kick off the holiday
shopping season earlier in order to stimulate more spending during the
Great Depression. His decision was at first unpopular with Congressional
leaders who mockingly referred to Thanksgiving as "FranksGiving".
However, Roosevelt's plan worked and we now have throngs of shoppers
kicking off the holiday shopping season just hours after Thanksgiving
*Travel: AAA projects 43.6 million Americans will journey 50
miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, an
increase of 0.7% over the 43.3 million people who traveled last year.
*The cost: The American Farm Bureau Federation says that in 2001
a family's Thanksgiving meal cost $35.04. A 10-person Thanksgiving feast
costs $50.99 in 2012, compared with $49.38 in 2011.
America has historical roots as a nation of debt. The
original colonists arrived in America in debt from the cost of their
travel. They agreed to send goods back to England to repay their
burdens. In 1641, the pilgrims consolidate their debts into four annual
payments to a London creditor. The interest rates on these obligations
were often between 30-70%. One way to make money was to send Indian
arrows that had been shot at them, but missed, back to Europe for sale
*The very first ship to come visit the
Pilgrims was the Fortune, and it
dropped off 35 people. The
Pilgrims sent back cargo of timber, beaver
skins, and sassafras worth $2,500. Unfortunately, this ship was captured
by the French while on its way to England and all goods were taken.
Miles Standish, captain of the Pilgrims By John Stevens Cabot Abbott
*In order to finance their trip and new life, the
Pilgrims asked some
London merchants to invest in the colony they would create.
*70 merchants decided to form a joint stock company with the Pilgrims.
Pilgrim was issued one share of stock in the company, in
essence, making them investors.
*Making money in colonies required a lot of money to begin with, more
than even the richest aristocrats or merchants had. So they banded
together into “companies,” pooling their capital until they had enough
to fund a large and potentially profitable project.
*We know that the merchant adventurers invested between £1200 and £1600
Pilgrims planned to engage in businesses such as lumbering and
fishing, sending wood and fish to England to be sold.
*Beginning in 1628, the Pilgrims were to pay the merchants £200 a year
until they had paid £1800.
*However, with the extra money invested in the struggling little colony,
the debt may have been as high as £7000.
*One way the Pilgrims paid off their debt was by sending beaver furs
back to England.
*Sometime in the fall of 1621, the Puritans invited their Indian friends
to join them in a three-day festival which we now call the first
*The First American Money:
Pilgrims used quahog shells called "wampum"
for currency. In fact, Harvard College would accept wampum for tuition
payments in the 1640′s. Wampum shells were recognized as official
currency in America for over 80 years. A variety of crops and furs and
coins from other countries were also used.
*A five dollar Federal Reserve Note was issued in 1914 that carried a
scene featuring the landing of the Pilgrims.
*To commemorate the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Massachusetts
in 1620, a special half-dollar was authorized by the U.S. Congress on
May 12, 1920.
*The Turkeys: $5.7 million dollars worth of live turkeys are imported to
the US each year. 95% of those turkeys come from Canada. Most of our
sweet potatoes come from the Dominican Republic.
*$1.38: Retail cost per pound of a frozen whole turkey in December 2010.
*About 280 million turkeys are sold annually for
Thanksgiving, which is
about 7 billion pounds of turkey and over $4 billion in sales. $4.1
billion: Forecast 2010 receipts to farmers from turkey sales. This
exceeds the total receipts from sales of products such as barley, oats,
sorghum (combined) and peanuts.
*931 million pounds: Total production of pumpkins produced in the major
pumpkin-producing states in 2009. Illinois led the country by producing
429 million pounds of the vined orange gourd. Pumpkin patches in
California and Ohio also provided lots of pumpkins: Each state produced
at least 100 million pounds. The value of all pumpkins produced by major
pumpkin-producing states was $103 million.
*The Shopping: The National Retail Federation reports that in 2010 some 138 million
Americans, about 4 million more than last year, will brave the crowds to
shop on Black Friday or on the following weekend.
Source Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the
year, but it isn’t actually the biggest. The top shopping day of the
year for retailers is usually the last Saturday before Christmas.
*On November 26, 1789, Present George Washington issued a general
proclamation for a special day of thanks.
*President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November, 1863
as "A day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficient Father."
even Pilgrims are free from money problems. Check out these legal
and monetary records of Pilgrim Edward Doty:
||Sued by Joseph Rogers, failed to pay a
contract with six pigs, as had been agreed. Rogers won.
||Sued by William Bennet for dealing
fraudulently in a trade of bacon for beaver skins. Bennet won.
||Sued by William Bennet for slander.
Doty fined 50 shillings.
||Sued by his apprentice John Smith to
be freed from his 10-year contract. Court agreed, and required
Doty to give him double payment in apparel for having given so
little to his apprentice.
||Fined 6 shillings 8 pence for
"breaking the peace", and awarded Josias Cooke 3 shillings 4 pence
because Doty caused him to bleed during their fight.
||Doty sued Francis Sprague over a debt:
Doty won 6 shillings 6 pence, plus a peck of malt.
||Edward Doty and Joseph Beedle sue and
counter-sue for "matters beign raw and imperfect" and were sent to
||Fined 10 shillings for breaking the
peace, by assaulting George Clarke.
||Sued George Allen. Reason and outcome
||Sued Thurston Clarke. Doty awarded 12
bushels and 1 peck of Indian corn, and 12 shillings money or an
additional 4 bushes of corn, plus 11 shillings for charges. John
Jenny then entered an attachment to receive 31 shillings 6 pence
from Clarke before it was paid to Doty, of which the court ordered
him to then pay Doty five and a half bushels of Indian corn and 3
pence to settle the account.
||Court orders Edward Doty to keep his
two cows and a steer fenced in during the summer, or pay Thomas
Symons for all damage caused by his cows in Symons' cornfield.
||Sued George Clark. Doty awarded four
bushels of Indian corn.
||Doty ordered to pay five bushels of
Indian corn to John Groome, for Manessah Kempton's use.
||Samuel Cutbert sued Edward Doty for
taking wood from his land. Doty ordered to pay 7 shillings damages
plus court fees.
||Edward Gray and Samuel Cutbert sue
Edward Doty for damage done by his cows to their corn. Doty
ordered to pay 1 bushel of Indian corn to each.
Get more financial trivia here: