Today is National Doughnut Day. It’s a day you can get free doughnuts from most doughnut shops, Krispy Kreme for example. Dunkin Donuts also gives out free doughnuts but I believe there are some restrictions. Check in your area to see who all is giving free doughnuts and who isn’t.
History generally tells us that the term Dough Boys comes from World War 1 when women of the Salvation Army served doughnuts, along with other items, to the American soldiers in the trenches. But American soldiers were called Dough Boys dating back to at least the war with Mexico from 1846-48. American soldiers were so called dough boys because they cooked a dough like substance for their meals.
But the term did come into play during World War 1 as American soldiers, and European soldier, fell in love with the doughnuts served by the Salvation Army… or maybe it was the women serving them that they fell in love with. These women were the only civilians allowed in the front ranks during the war.
Lt. Colonel Helen Purviance became known as the “First Doughnut Girl” during the war. her rank was in the Salvation Army, not in the regular military. Soldiers so fell in love with the doughnut that when the Salvation Army was not available to serve the treat they often cooked dougnuts in their helmets.
The Salvation Army was so desperate for funding that in 1938 they took to the streets to sell doughnuts as a fund-raiser. Doughnut Day was established in Chicago that same year, making it a bizarre, but tasty, holiday.
How to celebrate – Go get your free doughnut! Share a dozen doughnuts with friends. Donate to the Salvation Army.