Today, thousands of bargain hungry shoppers will be competing for the best deals as retailers across the country celebrate the beginning of the festive shopping season with a host of promotional sales.

In recent years, Black Friday has become renowned for the carnage that often follows shoppers as they race around stores in a desperate bid to grab the best items first.

This year however, family historians don’t need to worry about braving the crowds to make a saving. Findmypast is offering an incredible 75% discount on new and lapsed subscriptions over the Black Friday weekend.

This limited offer will expire at 11.59pm on Monday December 1st. Visit our Black Friday Discount page to find out more and to activate your discount coupon. Alternatively, you can claim your discount by entering the code ‘BLACKFRIDAY75’ when registering an account here.

Although ‘Black Friday’ is now synonymous with crowded shopping malls and cut price electronics, our ancestors would have had different understandings of the phrase at various points in history. Below is a list of some of the many 'Black Fridays' that have occurred throughout history.

Black Friday  1688

Perhaps the first ever 'Black Friday' in recorded history, on Friday June 8th 1688 Seven English Bishops were arrested on the orders of King James II on the eve of the Glorious Revolution.

Black Friday 1869

The Black Friday of 1869 refers to the Fisk-Gould Scandal, a financial crisis that began on Friday September 24th thanks to the efforts of two speculators, Jay Gould and James Fisk, to corner the gold market on the New York Gold Exchange.

Black Friday 1887

In 1887, Black Friday described the Haymarket affair. On 11 November four Chicago anarchists, George Engel, Adolph Fischer, Albert Parsons and August Speis, were hanged without evidence for the deaths of seven police officers during riot that followed a labor meeting.

The Trial of the 1887 Black Friday Anarchists

Black Friday 1910

In 1910, Black Friday was used in Britain to describe the failure  of a campaign by Suffragettes. Around 1,000,000 wealthy young women gathered outside the British House of Commons on November 18th in an attempt to convince the government to give women the vote. The police response was brutal and many were arrested.

Black Friday 1945

On Friday 5th October 1945, a riot erupted  at the Warner Brothers studio in Hollywood following Confederation of Studio Unions (CSU) strike. The bloody riot bankrupted the union, enabled the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act, and led to the eventual break up of the CSU.

Black Friday 1950

On Friday May 5th, the banks of the Red River burst in  The Dakotas and Manitoba. Several dikes failed and much of Winnipeg was completely flooded causing five deaths and $1 billion worth of damage.

Red River flooding somewhere near Fargo


These are but a few examples of the many 'Black Fridays' that have been taken place around the world. You can read more about these fascinating events in our collection of historic newspapers and don't forget to grab your Black Friday Discount before 11.59 pm on Monday!