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

Princeton Ghosts & Hauntings

Ghost WashingtonDo you believe in ghosts? Princeton is one of those places where skeptics cross the threshold and start saying yes. Mysterious lights, strange presences, and ghostly figures have made Princeton a ghost hunter’s paradise.

Nestled between New York and Philadelphia, the small town of Princeton is steeped in history. From the Lenape Native Americans, to the British settlement, to the Revolutionary War, to our world famous university, the paranormal footprint left behind here by the people and events of centuries past isn’t too difficult to find.

“You may think you know Princeton well, but there’s a lot more than meets the eye,” said Mimi Omiecinski, owner of Princeton Ghost Tours. “Many people just find Princeton way too beautiful to leave, even after death.”

Ghostly sightings and experiences have been noted in just about every part of town, including here at the Nassau Inn and the Yankee Doodle Tap Room, where dozens of apparitions have been accounted for throughout the course of two and half centuries.

Nick Ballas, Director of Rooms at the Nassau Inn, reported on several occasions of having heard strange noises, seen bizarre figures, and, while staying overnight, witnessed a translucent woman in a white dress floating up the stairs from the 2nd to 3rd floor. “It was both spooky and mesmerizing at the same time,” Ballas recounted.

“The fifth floor is where some of the eeriest stories come from,” remarked a front desk attendant at the Nassau Inn. “There were several instances where guests called down with concerns of hearing constant chatter from disembodied voices. A few guests also described feelings of being hugged by an invisible stranger.”

As a regular stop along the Princeton Ghost Tour route, Mimi Omiecinski knows first-hand that the Nassau Inn is a hotbed of oddities and anomalies. “It’s not just a bunch of kooky ghost stories,” she explained. “We have evidence that they are here.”

You don’t have to take Omiecinski’s word for it, though. She proves the presence of ethereal beings by providing her tour groups with dowsing rods, EMF detectors, and therma-meters.

“Ghosts don’t always announce their presences with scents, sounds or slime,” said Omiecinski. “Ghosts, by their ethereal nature, tend to be a tad elusive. But, with this equipment we can locate, and often communicate with the other side.”

And, Princeton purportedly has quite the cast of famous specters in the area to communicate with. George Washington, John Witherspoon, and Albert Einstein are among the many celebrity spirits associated with Princeton that are believed to frequent the surrounding shops, residences, hotels, and university.

“Princeton has all the right features conducive of paranormal activity,” said Omiecinski. “The historic buildings are conduits of energy that spirits draw from.  You can bet that ghosts like George Washington and Albert Einstein are dropping by Nassau Hall, the McCarter Theater, and the Yankee Doodle Tap Room all the time.”

No matter what you believe about ghosts and the afterlife, one thing is certain – the historic town of Princeton has a lot more odd, unexplained activity than most other places in the world. And, while we don’t guarantee a ghost sighting when you book a room with us, taking a Princeton Ghost Tour should be on your to-do list while you’re here. “Not only is it great time for adults and children alike,” said Omiecinski. “But, what you’ll hear is true and what you’ll see is real.”

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


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

Ghost of the Inn…

For years I’d heard testimony of ghost sightings at the Nassau Inn, however I had spent countless hours walking the hallowed corridors and never experienced even the slightest offbeat encounter.

At times I wondered about the possibility, if for no other reason than the consistency of guest’s stories. Many took place in the same location and their experiences were similar in nature. Ultimately I listened to the stories and although I was agreeable, I was not a believer.

That was until about two years ago… Continue reading

Valentine’s Day!

By: Jackie Brigante

Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to rejoice: celebrate your friendships, relationships with loved ones and even revel yourself.

This day is celebrated in many countries around the world, and is associated with Saint Valentine; who was imprisoned for performing marriage ceremonies for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. While this background may not be quixotic, the meaning behind this genuine undertaking has been celebrated for centuries.

In today’s society, we find stores filled with red, white and pink hearts filled with fancy candies, romantic dinner packages offered at our favorite restaurants and commercials encouraging consumers to indulge and pamper their partners. But for those of you who may find this holiday a but commercialized, remember that we are celebrating love – and that can relate to any relationship!

Are you a pet-lover? The ASPCA has compiled a pet-friendly Valentine’s Day guide to pamper your pooch including non-toxic plants and pet approved chocolate! Your pet will appreciate your kindness and hopefully pile on extra unconditional love!

Need to entertain the kiddies? Consider a themed arts and crafts day. Using white paper, have the kids write down things they love about their siblings or family – and only in red or pink! They can also create a list of Valentine’s Day specific words and make their very own word finds. Help them out by cutting red or pink construction paper in to the shape of a heart and penciling on grid lines to keep their lines straight.

On a budget, but want to impress? At home dates with your partner are special! Surprise your loved one with all of the ingredients to their favorite at-home meal – and prepare it together. Eat at the dinner table sitting side-by-side with the table set, lights dimmed and your favorite scented candle lit. Turn off your phones and have a conversation with no distractions. Eat slowly and enjoy your time together!

Ready for a night or weekend out? A special dinner for two is just the thing you need! Many restaurants offer a prix fixe menu for Valentine’s Day; just remember to make your reservations! Spending the weekend in a hotel with your partner can be extra special: quiet, comfortable and private! The Nassau Inn offers an Escape to Romance package year-round, but why not spoil yourself and your partner this February 14th with a retreat?

Whether your Valentine’s Day is spent with your partner or your family and friends, it is important to remember that this day is meant to celebrate togetherness – and you can achieve that sentiment with gusto!

Holiday Travel

By: Jackie Brigante

My apprehensiveness for holiday travel is at an all time high this year: we are driving to the central Florida Gulf Coast. Christmas in the warm weather is never something I have experienced; there is usually freezing rain, runny noses and black ice up in Jersey burbs. While I am overly excited about the warm weather and sunshine; the rapid climate declination is where I am at an emotional standstill.

Upon leaving my New Jersey domicile I shall be bundled up to the nines: Uggs, Northface, knee socks and the coziest sweats I can find. All New Jersians can attest that the start of a 5 a.m. car trip in December can be mighty frosty; but the thaw on the way down south is what I am looking forward to the most. The end of this adventure should result in cut-offs, a tank top and flip flops – which will make me the happiest girl alive!

As this sunshine and summer apparel is probably an all too exciting fixation for me, but I am feeling one tiny bit of trepidation for this trip: mom said I have to pack light. Although my clothes do tend to be on the smaller side; packing light does not exist in my vocabulary; especially on a road trip! This climate disaster that I am currently facing is forcing me to pack two full suitcases – one for the winter and one for the summer. Sorry mom and dad, that trunk is going to be mine…espadrilles take up a lot of room.

Another weather crisis that is making me feint of heart is the waning climate. What if it is snowing in Virginia when we stop for lunch? What if dinner in South Carolina rains on my parade? What fashion choice do I make if night time in Florida is cold?! There are so many unanswered seasonal queries that are plaguing my thoughts!

Now for all of you Christmas fanatics – be aware. All winter trips on which I venture; there is always a blizzard in good old New Jersey. My family has the knack for staying in Vegas an extra day due to airport shutdowns and coming home from Disney only to find a driveway full of fluffy, glistening snow. So perhaps while I am basking in the sunshine, New Jersey really will experience a White Christmas.

Holiday Shopping for your Significant Other

By: Todd Woodruff

Well, well, well….where do we even begin? That is the question for every guy that has to shop for their spouse/significant other during the holiday season. It is a very nerve-racking thing to do, especially if you are not a very creative person or always need help with making decisions. For some it is easy, but for others it is very difficult. You never want to buy the wrong gift that your spouse/significant other may or may not like, so it is tough approaching how to shop for them. If you live with them or are always with them, it is easy to pick up and see things that they need. If you do not live with them but are always with them and you listen to what they are saying and want, then you can get ideas from that. Yes I mentioned listening in my last line, I know all of the ladies are thinking what guy actually listens? Right: well ladies during the holiday season it is our goal to make you happy, so; believe it or not we do listen to what you want. But the first step in doing this is to talk to your spouse/significant other and put a price range down on what you both are willing to spend.

Gifts from a guy to a girl. What does she like or want, and will it be exactly what they think it is? It is very tough shopping for her because you feel like it has to be something extraordinary. Gifts from a guy to a girl do not always have to be a piece of jewelry, purse or other accessory that they use. In fact, this can be very difficult to buy the correct item. If you know exactly what piece of jewelry or purse they want that is fine, but why buy something that she may want to return? Sometimes it is easier to take them shopping if you want to go that route. Girls can be very particular and like to pick out certain items. Other options for guys are to take them to a holiday show and out to dinner and drinks and pay for the night.

Gifts from a girl to a guy. Well ladies: most guys are very easy to please. What is your spouse interested in? Sports, electronics, building things? Depending on what his interests, there are many different ideas that are available here. For example; if he is into sports, why not buy tickets to his favorite sports team and you can both go to a game and enjoy. If he is into electronics or tools buy him the newest version of the latest tool or electronic he has.

For the both of you. If you are both at a crossroads or living together you can always decide on something that is worthwhile for the both of you. Together you could always take a trip, buy a larger TV for a living room, go to a sporting event or play together maybe even pay for improvements on the house or apartment together. These are just some ideas that I have thought of to get people started if you have not already started thinking about your spouse for the holiday season. Have a great Holiday and Happy New Year.

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.