Black Friday, a term applied in Great Britain and the United States to several Fridays on which panics or crises occurred. A notable Black Friday in English history occurred December 6, 1745, when news reached London of the landing in Scotland of Charles Edward Stuart, pretender to the throne.
The first Black Friday in the United States was September 24, 1869. On that day, the federal government sold gold in order to keep Jay Gould and James Fisk from cornering the gold market in New York City. The government succeeded, but many persons were ruined when gold prices plummeted. Another Black Friday was September 19, 1873, when many business failures in New York City started the Panic of 1873.