A Brief History of Black Friday

Black Friday is fast approaching, and in Palmer Square, you’re bound to discover countless sales and killer finds you’ll want to purchase for your family and friends.

While the many shops at Palmer Square will be offering incredible deals that you might not believe, here are some historic facts about ‘Black Friday’ that are pretty unbelievable too.


  • The “Black Friday” tradition likely began in the 1920’s when department stores such as Macy’s and Eaton’s threw Thanksgiving Day parades to whet the appetites of consumers for a holiday shopping feast.
  • It was an unwritten rule that no store would try doing any holiday shopping advertising before the parades were over, making the day after Thanksgiving the official start of the holiday shopping season.
  • The term “Black Friday” first surfaced in 1951 to describe the practice of workers calling in sick on the day after Thanksgiving in order to have a four-day weekend.
  • Around the same time in Philadelphia, the term was used by police, cabbies, bus drivers, and retail workers to to depict the horde of shoppers that descended into the city on the days following Thanksgiving.
  • In the 1980’s, “Black Friday” was marketed to have gotten its name as being the day on which retailers finally began to show a profit for the year (in accounting terms, moving from being “in the red” to “in the black”) after operating at an overall loss from January through mid-November.
  • Many merchants disliked the negative connotation of the phrase ‘Black Friday’ and tried to rebrand it as ‘Big Friday’.
  • The success of “Black Friday” inspired merchants to invent new shopping holidays such as Super Saturday and Cyber Monday.

Fun Thanksgiving Facts

When most people think of a Princeton Thanksgiving, the first thing that comes to mind is spending joyous time with family and feasting on culinary delights such as as golden-roasted turkey, fluffy stuffing, tangy cranberry sauce, and whipped cream on top of pumpkin pie at the historic Yankee Doodle Tap Room.

Wherever you spend your Thanksgiving, here are 10 fun Thanksgiving Day facts to think about and share with your family and friends as you dig into this year’s turkey:

Since 1947, the president has pardoned a live turkey every Thanksgiving and allows it to live out its days on a historical farm.

The first Thanksgiving was a moment for the Pilgrims to thank God for allowing them to kill enough game and grow sufficient crops to get through the winter.

Wild turkeys can fly in short bursts at speeds up to 55 MPH.

Now a Thanksgiving dinner staple, cranberries actually were used by Native Americans to treat wounds and dye clothing. They did not eat them.


The Thanksgiving Day football tradition began with Yale and Princeton, who played their first game in 1876 and drew yearly crowds of 40,000 to see them duke it out.

Princeton vs yale

The tradition of breaking a wishbone for good luck started with the Romans.


So consumed with passion for the turkey and its respectful stature, it is said that Benjamin Franklin proposed the turkey become the United States national bird. However, the bald eagle, which Franklin thought had a “bad moral character” won out.

national turkey

St. Patrick’s Day might get the press, but the day before Thanksgiving is the biggest day for bar and liquor sales in the U.S., also ahead of the Super Bowl or New Years’ Eve.

liquor sales

The first national Thanksgiving was declared by President George Washington in 1789 – although it didn’t stick until Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation in 1863.

George Washington

Considered the “Mother of Thanksgiving,” Sara Hale (1788-1879) was an influential editor and writer who urged President Lincoln to proclaim a national day of thanksgiving. She selected the last Thursday in November because, as she said, harvests were done, elections were over, and summer travelers were home.

sarah hale

5 Reasons to Hold Your Next Business Function at the Nassau Inn

If you’re thinking the Nassau Inn may be the perfect destination to host your next business function, we’re positive you’re right. Here are five standout reasons why the Nassau Inn is the best choice for your group:

Convenient and Engaging Location

When it comes to atmosphere and culture, downtown Princeton is second-to-none. Rich cultural and historical offerings, awe-inspiring architecture, a dynamic art scene, world-class dining options, boutique shopping, outdoor recreation activities, and the the spirit of a top university town can all be found just steps outside our front door.

Princeton 1

Flexible Event Space

Connect, inspire, and celebrate with over 10,000 square feet of versatile event space.  Whether you’re looking to host a conference spanning multiple days or a meeting that lasts just a few hours, our state-of-the-art meeting facilities will help you execute your distinct vision with unrestricted flexibility and creativity.


Distinctive Food & Beverage Choices

Nothing powers up a business function more than great food. From breakfast buffets and light lunches to delicious desserts and a full beverage list, our exquisite in-house food and beverage selection is certain to meet the needs of your event. Our talented food and beverage team can suggest an innovative menu with delectable options to entertain any number of guests.


Increased Connectivity

Our event spaces will truly connect with your attendees via our powerful and reliable Wi-Fi network. Whether you’re hosting a videoconference, accessing a presentation, or editing and emailing important documents, we are equipped with more than enough bandwidth to meet your needs.


Dedicated Conference Planners

Event planning is easy when you work with the Nassau Inn. For a smooth, productive, and memorable experience, all of our clients are assigned a dedicated Conference Planning Manager. Your manager will work with you every step of the way to capture the details of your event from guest accommodations, to function set-up, menu selections, audio/video requirements, and all other anticipated needs.



10 Reasons Why Fall is a Great Time to Have a Wedding


Cozy Vibes

There’s something so intimate and homey about an autumn wedding.
Exhibit A: this cozy tablescape that’s got us all swooning.

Fall Tablescape

Stunning Scenery

Fall foliage as your wedding portrait backdrop? It doesn’t get any better than that.

fall foilage nassau

In-season Florals

Dahlia, alstroemeria, celosia… the list goes on for pretty flowers you’ll find for fall.

Fall Florals

Historic Venues

Let’s be real – historic weddings and autumn go together like PB&J, and for the rustic-loving bride fall is the perfect time of year.

Fall Wedding 2

Outdoor Ceremony

You can have a beautiful outdoor ceremony without worrying your guests are going to melt or freeze.


Fresh Foods

The food! Think apple cider signature cocktails, a delicious soup course, and donuts for dessert

Fall food


You can create gorgeous décor on the cheap — crunchy leaves, votives, and beautiful branches all make lovely decorations. Plus, they’re more budget-friendly than flowers.

fall decor 1

Fall Sun

Because of the way engagement rings sparkle in the fall sun.

autumn engagement ring

Guest lists

Wedding guests do not have to work around their summer vacations in order to attend.

Fall wedding guests

NO bad hair days!

Frizz-free wedding hair.

frizz free 4


Corporate Meetings & the Benefits of Natural Light

NI Crossing DelawareSince before the American Revolution, our meeting space has been widely known among political, business, and military leaders to invite focus and ignite creativity.

Our superior amenities and top notch customer service have always fostered a comfortable and productive environment for our esteemed guests.

While our hospitality greatly compliments the overall experience, the mood of the day is actually determined before a meeting is even convened. It takes effect the moment our guests step into the room and find themselves welcomed by the brilliance of natural light.

All of our meeting rooms come standard with natural light and its many aesthetic and health benefits, which include:

1.) Boost in mood and alertness







2.) Reduction in stress







3.)  Elevation in happiness







4.) Increased quality of sleep







5.) Boost in metabolism







In addition, our naturally lit meeting space also comes equipped with the proper shade to accommodate video and presentations.

To book a corporate space or to get more information, please contact us at sales@nassauinn.com or call 609-921-7500


Steps from Everything…


One of the many benefits of staying with us here at the Nassau Inn is our close proximity to first-class shopping, dining, entertainment, and history. Our guests truly appreciate being just steps away from everything. As evidence, here is a list of 10 popular attractions in downtown Princeton – along with the number of steps it takes to get to each one from here. So, tap on your activity tracker and let’s compare steps…  

1.) NASSAU HALL (425 steps)

Everywhere - nassau hallNassau Hall was built in 1756 to house what was then the College of New Jersey. It was the largest stone building in the American Colonies.

The name “Nassau Hall” was proposed by Governor Jonathan Belcher in honor of King William III, “who was a branch of the illustrious house of Nassau.”
Click here to learn more…

2.) PALMER HOUSE (633 steps)

Everywhere - Palmer HouseThe original owner was Commodore Robert Stockton (1795-1866), grandson of the signer of The Declaration of Independence. He married Maria Potter of Charleston, South Carolina and they received the house as a wedding present from her father, John.

When Robert moved across the street into “Morven,” the old Stockton homestead, he sold Palmer House to his brother-in-law, James Potter. (Later he built “Lowrie House” down Stockton Street for one of his children while his older brother-in-law, Thomas Potter, built “Prospect House” on the south side of the campus – both designed by John Nottman of Philadelphia.
Click here to learn more…


Everywhere - Princeton Battle Monument

On January 3, 1777, the peaceful winter fields and woods of Princeton Battlefield were transformed into the site of what is considered to be the fiercest fight of its size during the American Revolution. During this desperate battle, American troops under General George Washington surprised and defeated a force of British Regulars. Coming at the end of “The Ten Crucial Days” which saw the well-known night crossing of the Delaware River and two battles in Trenton, the Battle of Princeton gave Washington his first victory against the British Regulars on the field. The battle extended over a mile away to the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). Click here to learn more…


Everywhere - Art MuseumThe origins of Princeton’s art collections date nearly to the University’s foundation, thus making Princeton one of the oldest collecting institutions in America. The Museum and what is now the Department of Art and Archaeology—the second oldest in the nation—formally came into being in 1882, founded on a philosophy that positioned Princeton at the cutting edge of scholarship in an era when the history of art was a new academic discipline, largely confined to the more advanced universities of Europe. Click here to learn more…

5.) BAINBRIDGE HOUSE (686 steps)

Everwhere - Bainbridge HouseBainbridge House is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Princeton and one of the area’s best preserved examples of mid-Georgian architecture. Located on Nassau Street, the town’s busiest and most historic thoroughfare, it is situated directly across from Princeton University. Bainbridge House has been home to several Stockton families; it was the birthplace of William Bainbridge, hero of the War of 1812; in 1783 it was listed as providing accommodations for the Continental Congress; during the late 19th century it served as a boarding house for university students; and for more than fifty years it was home to the public library. Click here to learn more…

6.) MORVEN MUSEUM (844 steps)

Everywhere - MorvenHome to one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and to five New Jersey governors, Morven has played a role in the history of New Jersey and the nation for more than 250 years.

After the Governor’s Mansion was relocated in 1982, Morven went through an extensive restoration and archaeological investigation. Morven re-opened as a museum and garden in 2004.
Click here to learn more…

 7.) PRINCETON CEMETERY (844 steps)

Everywhere - CemeteryThe Princeton Cemetery is a unique burial ground.  It is the final resting place for a President and a Vice President of the United States, most of the Presidents of the College of New Jersey/Princeton University and the Princeton Theological Seminary.  Scattered throughout the cemetery are the graves of soldiers beginning with the Revolutionary War, professors, politicians, musicians, scientists, business executives, writers, a Nobel Laureate, a winner of Pulitzer Prizes as well as those who have called the Princeton area home.  Take your time and enjoy the rich history of America captured here, and a small town’s place in that history. Click here to learn more…

8.) McCARTER THEATER (1056 steps)

Everywhere - McCarter TheaterMcCarter Theatre Center for the Performing Arts – the region’s leading performing arts center – has a rich history of artists who have graced its stage for over 80 years. Built as a permanent home for the Princeton University Triangle Club (who continue to perform at McCarter to this day) with funds from Thomas N. McCarter, class of 1888, the theater opened its doors on February 21, 1930 with a special performance of the 40th annual Triangle show, The Golden Dog. One of its stars was Joshua Logan, a junior and a sophomore named James Stewart was in the chorus. Click here to learn more…

9.) ALBERT EINSTEIN HOUSE (1267 steps)

Everywhere -The Albert Einstein House at 112 Mercer Street in Princeton, Mercer County, New Jersey was the home of Albert Einstein from 1936 until his death in 1955.

The house is a simple pattern-book cottage and in itself is of no particular architectural significance”.

Albert Einstein reportedly requested that this house not be made a museum, and the family did not want it to be recognized as such. Nonetheless it was added to the National Register of Historic Places and further designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1976. Click here to learn more…

 10.) CLEVELAND TOWER (1900 steps)

Everywhere - Cleveland TowerIts beauty often compared to that of Oxford University’s Magdalen Tower, the 173-foot Cleveland Tower flanks the main entrance to Princeton’s Graduate College. One of the principal structures of the Graduate College when it was dedicated in 1913, the tower was erected as a memorial to President Grover Cleveland, who, following his retirement from public life, was a trustee of Princeton University and chaired the trustees’ graduate school committee. Funds for the construction of the tower were raised by public subscription from “citizens of all parties in all walks of life from all parts of the United States.”  Click here to learn more…





April in Bloom

flowersCommunity Spotlight

April was another incredible month for downtown Princeton. The entire town literally exploded with color in a matter of weeks as our natural surroundings quickly transitioned from bare, bleak, and brittle to robust, bright, and in bloom. The much welcomed spring weather provided ideal conditions for al fresco dining, window shopping, outdoor sports, and community events such as the Princeton University Farmers’ Market and Communiversity.

Yankee Doodle Tap RoomYDTR Sign w Flowers

The opening of our outdoor patio and the release of our Spring Menu has made for an outstanding month at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room. The fresh air and fine fare motivated many to ditch the indoors and dine with us. The interior of the Tap Room continues to see an abundance of activity too. In addition to our regular business, tour groups have been piling in to enjoy a beautiful buffet and an anecdotal history of our property.

If you like to unwind after work, our Happy Hour Specials and promotions may be just what you need. Monster Mug Mondays were made to quench your thirst while “I Made History” and “Beers Around the World” give you the opportunity to drink outside your comfort zone and win cool prizes. Live music on our patio is also on its way starting May 14.

Most importantly, however, we need to talk about Mom. Her special day is racing towards us. To celebrate, we’re holding our annual Mother’s Day Brunch on Sunday, May 10th.  There’s no better way to remind Mom how amazing she is by treating her to a delicious meal with us. Click here for more information.

Nassau Inn Ext Summer - 3.5 wNassau Inn

The picturesque purlieu of downtown Princeton in the spring attracts an abundance of visitors from all around. Although the nearby Route 1 Corridor offers a cornucopia of shiny, brand name hotels to meet their lodging needs, it is at the independently owned Nassau Inn that travelers aim to book first. That’s because when you’re at the Nassau Inn, you’re already here, in the heart of downtown Princeton. Our iconic red door opens up to a lush green square, not a parking lot. The scent in the air is of efflorescence, not exhaust fumes. The distance to restaurants, entertainment, shopping and the arts is measured in steps, not miles.

Then there’s our history, which dates all the way back to the 18th century. Since opening our doors in 1756, we’ve prided ourselves on offering our guests the most neoteric amenities of the day. Whether you were to stay with us in the 1700’s, 1800’s, or 1900’s, you could expect to find available all the latest comforts and technology at the Nassau Inn. The same still rings true today. We continue to expertly exist as a historical landmark and a state-of-the-art, full service hotel and conference center.

It’s all of these inimitable attributes, and many more, that have made our property a target destination for tourism, corporate functions, and celebratory life events.. With 188 guest rooms and 13 beautiful conference/banquet options, our savvy coordinators can skillfully design and deliver a personalized experience sure to delight you and everyone in your party. To schedule a tour or to request more information about planning an event, please contact us at sales@nassauinn.com.

Pi Day of the Century


Pi Day of the Century

For the 6th year in a row, there will be much ado in downtown Princeton about the number  einstein Pi (3.14) and Albert Einstein’s 136th birthday. People gather from near and far to partake in this eccentric annual celebration of math, science, and education. But, you don’t have to be a genius to enjoy this jam packed day of fun-filled, family friendly festivities. Everyone is an Einstein on Pi Day – even if you don’t know what Pi is.

This is year is a very special Pi Day. It’s actually so special that it is heralded as the Pi Day of the Century! Here’s why:

Normally, Pi Day falls on any old March 14, which is exciting because when written numerically, it follows the first three digits of the mathematical constant π that allows us to work out the circumference, area, and volume around objects. This year, however, Pi Day will give us 10 digits when we reach 3.14.15 at 9:26.53 AM! And, this only takes place once every century!

Pi Day of the Century will take place on Saturday, March 14, or simply 3.14, or even more simply π.  Check out this years’ schedule of events below or click here to visit the official Pi Day Princeton website for more detailed information:


7:00 AM: Walk a Pi Event

9:00 AM: Pie Eating Contest

9:26:53 AM: My Once in a Lifetime Teacher Contest

9:30 AM: Westminster Conservatory of Music

10:00 AM: Kids of All Ages Violin Exhibition

10:00 AM:- 11:00 AM: KENKEN Lecture and Demo

11:00 AM: – 12:00 PM: KENKEN Tournament for Teens

11:00 AM: Happy Birthday, Albert!

11:00 AM: Einstein Look-A-Like Contest

11:00 AM: Pi X Pi(e) Bike Tour

12:00 PM: Miss Amy “Fitness Rock & Roll” Interactive Concert

12:00 PM: Dinky Train Rides with Einstein

12:00 PM: Nerd Herd Smart Phone Pub Crawl

12:00 PM: 15 Minute Mini Production of the Steve Martin Play “Picasso at Lapin Agile”     pie eating

1:00 PM: Pi Recitation Contest

1:00 PM: Serious Inventors Only Cocktail Making Class

1:30 PM – 1:59 PM: Hands-On Interactive Event for Children

1:59 PM:- Princeton Pirade by Kids’ Music Round

1:59 PM: Pi Pizza Competition

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM: He’s Got a Theremin and He’s Not Afraid to Use It! Where Music and Physics Meet

2:00 PM: 15 Minute Mini Production of the Steve Martin Play “Picasso at Lapin Agile”

2:30 PM: Where’s the Pi: A Physics Demonstration Show

2:45 PM: Best Apple Pi in Princeton Contest

3:14 PM: Pie Throwing Event                                          pie throwing

3:14 PM: Guided Einstein Tour

4:00 PM: Happy Birthday, Albert! Happy Birthday, Albert!

4:00 PM: Mega Chess Free Style Play

4:00 PM: Celebrating New Jersey’s Inventors: Understanding Their Contributions to Electromagnetism and Interactive Exhibits

5:00 PM: Nerd Herd Smart Phone Pub Crawl

7:30 PM:  The Arts Council of Princeton presents RatioActivity: A Pi Day Concert
featuring Stop Correcting Me

9:26 PM: Last stop on the Smart Phone Self Guided Pub Crawl

pub crawl

To Brine or Not To Brine?

By: Keir DeFonzo

We all have our uncompromising ways of just how to prepare a Turkey for the big Thanksgiving feast. Some pride themselves on generations of family secrets to get their birds just to the right desire of crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. There are lots of different ways to handle the main attraction on our dinner table. But one question to ask as we kickoff the holiday season is whether or not to brine your turkey.

Brine is a salt solution in which the turkey is submerged and kept chilled, in the refrigerator or a cooler, overnight, before being cooked. Some may argue brining a turkey is the only way to guarantee the juiciest meat. This especially occurs in the turkey breast which is notorious for being dry if over-cooked. Others feel that the brine will compromise the flavor since the ones we buy from the store already are high in sodium and have been pre-treated with brine before being sold.

With salt as the main ingredient, the solution will allow the salt to transfer into the meat overnight and act as a sponge to retain the juices and moisture. The bird will lose some of its water when cooking off in the heat; brine will prevent the bird from losing too much. The fun part of preparing the brine is that you can add herbs and aromatics to give the flavor a twist that will enhance the meal. For example, some people add bay leaves, rosemary or peppercorns. The options are endless. Having experience with the brine myself, I will say that once I started the tradition, I find there is no other way to go. Where I keep perfecting my technique is in the ingredients of the brine. One thing is for sure; my days of serving turkey that needs to be drowned in gravy are over! Turkey can now stand alone on the plate and compete with its rivals (the potato, the stuffing and the cranberry) for your taste buds attention.
One last tip I will share that I picked up along my cooking travels: place the bird breast down. The majority of the fat is actually in the back. By cooking your turkey face down, the fat will naturally create an additional baste for the white meat and create perfection!

Executive Chef Nino LaCasio’s Turkey Brine Recipe For an 8lb Turkey:
2-1/2 gallons cold water
2 cups kosher salt
11/2 cup sugar
2 bay leaves, torn into pieces
4 tablespoons dried thyme
1 whole head of garlic, peeled
1 cup of pickling spice
2 tbsp Ground pepper

Whisk sugar and salt in water till it dissolves. Stir in other ingredients. Pour over turkey in a plastic bag and tightly seal the bag before refrigerating. Make sure turkey is fully submerged in the solution and let soak overnight. Drain Turkey and pat dry. Allow to sit one hour before roasting.

Pregnant in Princeton

By: Jaime Wess

Being pregnant in the summer has its major downfalls; especially being eight months pregnant! Any woman who has experienced this, can and will, back me up. However, I could not have picked a better location to work for convenience and relief from the summer heat and from the discomforts that come along with it.

First, let us focus on a pregnant woman’s favorite pastime. It isn’t a bottle of wine, nor lounging and relaxing in a hot tub; and it certainly isn’t high heel shopping … its Food!!! The only indulgence she gets to have anymore. But as great as it is to give in to a strong craving for something very, very bad for yourself, sometimes you have to rein it in a little. Princeton is perfect for finding a variety of delicious treats and lunches! My favorite, on days when it has been 100 degrees outside and far too humid to walk for a half hour, is Twist – the well known frozen yogurt shop located on Nassau Street. The offerings of different flavors, nonfat or low fat options and the variety of toppings keep me coming back! Continue reading