Is your belly rumbling at the reminder of Doughnut Day? We wouldn’t be surprised if it was, as most of us love these most scrumptious foods.

There are many varieties of doughnuts outside of that most commonly known, including twist doughnuts, fritters, and the hugely varied and popular filled doughnut. Filled doughnuts come in a huge variety, including the very popular Devil Dog, a chocolate covered delight filled with a rich cream. Glazed doughnuts filled with all sorts of delicious fruit are equally popular, with raspberry being a runaway favorite throughout the world.

There’s something about that delicious deep-fried treat that brings a smile to everyone’s face. Doughnut Day celebrates this wonderful treat, it’s history and the ladies who did something very special with these delicious goodies during World War 1. To learn more about this special and tasty day, read on to learn more about this wonderful tradition.

History of Doughnut Day

Of course, we don’t need a reason to celebrate Doughnut Day. For some people, we are betting that they wish every day was in honor of this special treat. However, this day has special significance, and this goes all the way back to the events of the First World War. There wasn’t a lot for our soldiers to cheer about when they risked life and limb on a daily basis, but Doughnut Day came to pass, in part, due to the efforts of a doctor in the military in the first World War who sought to brighten the day of the wounded soldiers he worked on. On his first day to the Military Base, he purchased 8 dozen doughnuts and gave one to each soldier he worked on.

After giving one to Lieutenant General Samuel Geary, who received it with great mirth and appreciation for the doctors work, Samuel decided to start a fundraiser, letting the young doctor, Morgan Pett, to continue to provide doughnuts to his patients.

This fundraiser began working together with the Salvation Army who, after a fact-finding mission, determined that many needs of the soldiers could be met by creating social centers that would provide all sorts of amenities, including the doughnuts.

The Salvation Army sent 250 volunteers to France to help put these huts together, which soon became a mainstay of military life. One record of a day in the huts recorded up to 300 doughnuts and 700 cups of coffee being served as part of their service. Due to the majority of the workers being female, the Salvation Army workers started to be known as “Doughnut Dollies.”

Back at home, in honor of the work that had been created for the brave soldiers on the front line, people used ‘Doughnut Day’ to raise awareness about the war, and to raise funds for the Salvation Army. This tradition to raise money for the organization still happens today. 

So, that is the history of Doughnut Day, but what about the history of the humble doughnut itself, we hear you ask (probably with a mouth stuffed full of one of those tasty treats). 

The history of the doughnut isn’t clearly known, but what is known is that their iconic look started making an appearance in the United States in the mid-19th century.

Rumor has it that Elizabeth Gregory, a New England ship captain’s mother, made a delicious deep-fried dough treat to feed her son Hanson Gregory and his crew. She made them as they could easily be stored onboard, and it was thought that the goodies she produced could help ward off colds and the prospect of scurvy. Elizabeth put walnuts in the center where the dough couldn’t cook through, and she (quite rightfully so), named them doughnuts. 

The origin of the hole, or say legend says, is when Harrison, out of a distaste for the undercooked centers and greasiness of the existing shapes and options, punched a hole in the center with a tin pepper box. And voila, the traditional shape of the dessert you crave and love today was born. Allegedly. 

Doughnuts didn’t become widely available for public consumption unti the 1920s when inventor, Adolph Levitt, created a gadget to mass-produce doughnuts from his bakery. Word caught on, and by 1934 at Chicago’s world fair, doughnuts had become poster material. People the world over soon began to fall in love with these tasty offerings.

How To Celebrate Doughnut Day

So, what could you do to celebrate Doughnut Day? Well, you could buy yourself a box of Krispy Kremes for starters, and indulge yourself on your favorite flavors. 

You celebrate the charitable spirit of the day that brought Doughnut Day to fruition. You could raise funds for the Salvation Army or another charitable group that works with our armed forces, or you could volunteer your time. 

If you are going to raise funds, then you might want to learn how to create your own doughnuts, and then sell them to the people who live around you. You could also create doughnuts for any members of ex-members of the Forces within your friends and family, and serve them up a tasty treat. 

You might consider showing your charitable side in any other way, be that by donating money to a cause that means something to you, or by volunteering your time to help, perhaps on a regular basis.

So, think about what you could do this Doughnut Day. Whether you eat them, share them, or use them as a means to do good in the world, celebrate this day in your own particular style.

Extra Information

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First Friday of June
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Founded by
The Salvation Army

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