Black Friday, Sept. 24, 1869, in U.S. history, day of financial panic. In 1869 a small group of American financial speculators, including Jay Gould and James Fisk, sought the support of federal officials of the Grant administration in a drive to corner the gold market. The attempt failed when government gold was released for sale. The drive culminated on a Friday, when thousands were ruined—the day is popularly called Black Friday. There was great indignation against the perpetrators. Several other days of financial panic have also been occasionally referred to as Black Friday.