Each year on the first Friday in June, people participate in National Doughnut or Donut Day. This day celebrates the doughnut and honors the Salvation Army Lassies, the women that served doughnuts to soldiers during WWI.
In 1917, the original “Salvation Army Doughnut” was first served by the ladies of the Salvation Army. It was during WWI that the Salvation Army Lassies went to the front lines of Europe. Home cooked foods, provided by these brave volunteers, were a morale boost to the troops.
The doughnuts were often cooked in oil inside the metal helmets of American soldiers. American infantrymen were then commonly called “doughboys.” A more standard spelling is donut.
National Doughnut Day was created by The Salvation Army in 1938 to honor the women who served the doughnuts to soldiers in World War I. This day began as a fund-raiser for Chicago’s Salvation Army. The goal of their 1938 fund-raiser was to help the needy during the Great Depression. — HT: Click here.
Today is a good day. Today is a great day. Today is a day for donuts. In the immortal words of Hamlet (or somebody else probably long dead like Aragorn), “A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends, and break all bonds of fellowship, but with the help of donuts, it is not this day! An hour of forks and styrofoam plates when the waists of men come crashing down, but it is not this day! This day we eat!” LOL
I am fairly certain those were the forever-to-be-remembered words of a great speech that has been repeated at the start of every battle that starts on June 1st every year. It is the battle to be able to eat nice, sweet donuts without gaining any weight.
While we may enjoy eating donuts, it is the history behind the day that fascinates me the most. One hundred years ago, World War 1 ended. It was called the Great War or “The War to End All Wars.” Sadly, that was not to be the case as 21 years later, World War 2 would begin.
Obviously, the women who served donuts to the soldiers missed their homes just as much as the men serving in the trenches. Those little tastes were meant to bring a bit of happiness out of the horrors of the battlefield. Today, we can enjoy eating donuts as a free nation because of these wars. We can buy nice cars, have clean clothes, and buy or sell homes – all because of the sacrifices of those who went and were willing to give their all.
It is easy to forget what has gone before, or even not be aware of the privileges that cost so many so much. So, if you are reading this and eating a donut, enjoy, but don’t forget why we do this.
Enjoying a bite of history,
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