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History and Origins of National Doughnut Day

Homemade American Festive Donuts

Who doesn’t love doughnuts? The first Friday of June each year is National Doughnut Day, and believe it or not, this day has patriotic roots. In 1917, many women of the Salvation Army went to the front lines of World War I in Europe. They went as a kind gesture to boost the morale of the American troops in a unique way – they handed out doughnuts and home-cooked food. You can imagine how excited and grateful the soldiers were to experience a bit of home.

A fun fact about those first ‘Salvation Army Doughnuts’ is they were cooked in oil inside the metal helmets of American soldiers! This is probably why American infantrymen were often known as ‘doughboys.’

Years later, in 1938, The Salvation Army instituted the day as National Doughnut Day to celebrate the brave and generous women who did good for the American soldiers on the front lines years before and as a way to fundraise for the Chicago Salvation Army. Their fundraising efforts were for the ‘poor and needy’ during the Great Depression.

The Patriotic Ties of Doughnut Day

The patriotic ties of National Doughnut Day are obvious. The nearly 250 female officers of the Salvation Army, known as the ‘Doughnut lassies,’ who went to the front lines demonstrated the national sentiment of admiration and deep concern for the well-being of ‘the boys in the war.’ They set up huts near the frontline, giving out clothes, food, and doughnuts. The nation was intensely proud of those fighting with the allied forces and was eager for them to know that they nor their sacrifices were forgotten.

Doughnuts may not seem like a big or significant contribution to the war effort, but they demonstrated the kind intentions of the people back home and were happily received by the troops.

Related: National Cheesecake Day!

Celebrate with Our Sprinkles and Patriotic Toppers

The best way to celebrate National Doughnut Day this June 2nd? Serving your customers delicious doughnuts with signature, patriotic toppers. We are now featuring colorful red, white, and blue sprinkles, as well as a special patriotic offer. Contact a Sunrise sales team member to learn more about this limited-time offer that can help you serve a star-spangled special on June 2nd.

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