Ahh, Thanksgiving’s over, and now shopping’s in the air. Referred to as “Black Friday,” the Friday after Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday shopping season (and it’s called “black” because of stores getting in the black saleswise for the year…and not because of the hordes of sale-hungry, barbaric shoppers charging to the stores today).

But there have been a number of other “Black Friday” events over the past 135 years:

Friday, September 24th, 1869–a stock market crisis in the U.S. caused by a group of speculators with a plot to corner the gold market…a market that came crashing down when Ulysses S. Grant ordered the sale of $4 million in government gold (the price of gold to tanked as soon as this gold hit the market).

Friday, January 31, 1919–not happy with their standard 54-hour work week, Scottish workers went on strike to get those hours cut back a little. 50,000 striking workers gathered in the streets of Glasgow and well…when you put together that many overworked, frustrated people, it doesn’t take much to launch a riot.

Friday, May 13, 1927–you just know at least one of these was gonna occur on Friday the 13th. This “black friday” signalled the collapse of the German stock market.

Friday, January 13, 1939–On this day (another Friday the 13th), Australia encountered one of the worst fires in it’s history. Over 12,000 square miles burned to the ground killing 71 people and destroying several towns. Forests of Ash was a book published in 2002 that discusses this area before the fires, the fire, and the effects this fire had (if you can manage to find a copy in a library sometime, give it a look sometime).

Friday, September 8, 1978–mass protests broke out in Tehran and the military (under the Shah’s declaration of martial law) used a lot of force to break up the demonstrations (killing hundreds of protesters).

Friday, April 2, 1982–Argentine launches a successful invasion of the Falklands that kicks the Falklands War into high gear.