National Doughnut Day is worth celebrating

When I arrived at work today, several people had brought in doughnuts. I wondered why so many people were celebrating on a random Friday in June until I was reminded that today is National Doughnut Day. Unlike some of the other “food holidays” that are created by the food industry, this special day has roots that go back almost 100 years.


National Doughnut Day’s origins stretch back to 1917, when 250 Salvation Army volunteers were looking for a way to provide comfort to U.S. troops who were fighting on the front lines during WWI. They landed on the idea of frying doughnuts and serving them to the soldiers. Because they had limited resources due to their proximity to the battlefield, the Salvation Army’s Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance came up with the clever solution of frying donuts in soldiers’ helmets. The volunteers were dubbed “Doughnut Lassies” by the troops. However, the first “holiday” didn’t occur until some 20 years after the doughnut frying event, when The Salvation Army celebrated Doughnut Day on the first Friday in June, 1938, to honor the Lassies.

Although it’s traditional to purchase celebratory doughnuts from your favorite shop and many doughnut purveyors offer specials today, making doughnuts at home would be a great way to commemorate the day as well. Here are a few recipes from the EYB Library that would be perfect for the occasion:

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