Sunday, June 6, 2010

National Donut Day

... Was on Friday. I had never heard of it before I stumbled across a tiny little article about it on Friday - the first Friday of June, to be exact, on which day it is celebrated each year, and on which day, if you are lucky enough to live near a Dunkin Donuts, or a Krispy Kreme, you can go in and get a free donut. Normally, the fact that there even was such a thing as National Donut Day would merely cause me to cock my head a bit, and say, "Well, did you ever?" and promptly forget about it. However, contrary to what the name might suggest, it is not a day of free advertising for the donut business. There is actually a bit of history associated with it, and history always peaks my interest.

Oddly enough, National Donut Day has its origins during WWI. Young women from the Salvation Army, who were wanting to do something for the soldiers in France, came up withe brilliant idea of serving freshly made donuts and coffee to the men at the front. They did other thing too: making hot meals, doing mending, providing entertainment, etc, but it was primarily for the donuts that they are remembered. (There is a nice little site with pictures here that is worth a glance at.) Odder still, giving out donuts became something of a war tradition. During WWII, the Red Cross and the USO got involved too, and subsequent wars through Vietnam had their 'donut dollies'.

The idea of girls handing out donuts to war-weary soldiers is just unlikely enough to capture my fancy. Of course, the work they were doing was highly commendable. They were performing acts of charity (giving food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, comforting the sorrowful) and in extreme conditions too. Still, it would be rather hard to say with a straight face, that you helped out with the war effort by cooking donuts. It sounds rather like you spent all your time helping out bake sales.


Cat said...

Is this going to be a full story one day, or shall it forever remain an article?

Mahri said...

It never occurred to me to write a story about the donut girls. I just got a kick out of the idea of something called Donut Day having rather gallant origins. If you'd like to use it in a story, I'm happy to have provided the inspiration! :-)

Molly said...

Brilliant! Who knew?

Anonymous said...

Great artical! I love neat WWII stories. Thanks for posting.