It’s Homer Simpson‘s favorite day. Today is traditionally National Donut Day and it has been for an incredible 75 YEARS! We wonder why we just found out about it last year. We assume some sort of government conspiracy.
According to The Salvation Army it all started with ‘The Donut Lassies‘, aka The Donut Girls, in World War I, the war to end all wars. About 250 volunteers made the trip overseas during WWI to set up service ‘huts’ located in abandoned buildings near the French front line lines. In these huts the girls would provide writing supplies and stamps, offered a clothes-mending service to the soldiers in battle and much to the soldiers’ delight, fresh free home-made doughnuts. In fact, the girls were SO resourceful, they even rigged up a pot made from a soldier’s helmet to cook the donuts.
The Salvation Army website says;
The scent of fresh baked goods permeated the air and drew homesick soldiers to the service “hut” where they could enjoy a taste of home. Word spread quickly among the soldiers – “If you’re hungry and broke, you can get something to eat at The Salvation Army.” Donuts became synonymous with Salvation Army and American WWI vets who were returning home with the nickname “doughboys.”
The tradition continued in World War II and the Vietnam War.
The very first National Donut Day raised funds for people in need during the Great Depression. Since then, the day has become a way to honor soldiers on the first Friday in June.