It’s National Doughnut Day!!!

National Day of…..

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Quick, go mark your calendar!!!  Set the alarm!!!  You gotta get up early tomorrow!!!  Friday, June 3, 2022, is National Doughnut Day!!!  You’ve got to run out and pick up a dozen or so doughnuts!!!  Yes, you do!!!  Lots of places are giving away free doughnuts!!!  Yes, really!!!  Google it.  But, just in case you miss it, there will be another Doughnut Day on November 5th.  So, you’ll have another chance.  Go mark that calendar now….

                                                                 …..we’ll wait. 

Today is National Doughnut Day. Time to eat doughnuts!!!
Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts!!!
Towers of doughnuts!!!
Chocolate Doughnuts!!!

So, what’s the back story here?

Well, it began in Chicago in 1938.  The Salvation Army sold doughnuts to raise funds for those in need during the Great Depression.  Doughnuts were chosen because the Salvation Army was known for their Doughnut Girls of World War I who had set up canteens in abandoned buildings near front lines to serve baked goods; mend clothes; and provide paper, pens, and stamps to the weary soldiers.  There were about 250 Salvation Army volunteers who traveled to France in 1917 to set up the canteens.  They produced and served baked goods for the U.S. troops.  They could and did serve hundreds of doughnuts and just as many cups of hot coffee every single day!!! 

Cover of the Salvation Army Magazine “War Cry”, November 9, 1918, depicting their doughnut Girl. (War Cry Magazine 11/9/1919 “Doughnut Dollies”- American volunteers serving in France. Public Domain)
Photo of Amazon.com listing for sheet music. Who knew you could buy this!!!
Photo of a listing for a magazine currently unavailable on Amazon.com. Some things you just can’t buy!!!
Photo of a tin sign found on Amazon.com. Some things you can buy and for only $6.99!!!

 

The service continued during WWII with the American Red Cross’ Clubmobile Service.  The Clubmobiles were equipped with a kitchen area containing a stove and a built-in, doughnut-making machine.  They operated from 1942 to 1946 traveling all through Britain and Europe dispensing “a connection home” and providing some entertainment and lots of yummy food.  Then, they did it again during the Korean War.   By then, the Doughnut girls were affectionately known as the Red Cross Donut Dollies, and they would dispense up to 20,000 doughnuts a day.

An American Red Cross Clubmobile somewhere near Constantine, Algeria sometime in June 1943. serving doughnuts and coffee to a bomber crew just returned from a dangerous mission. (U.S. Library of Congress, Marjory Collins, https://www.loc.gov/rr/print/res/071_fsab.html) Public Domain)
Doughnut Dollies serving fresh doughnuts from an improvised kitchen to waiting Clubmobiles for delivery to returning flight crews. (Marjory Collins, U.S. Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/rr/print/res/071_fsab.html) Public Domain

Amazon.com provides a lot of info on the American Red Cross Doughnut Dollies. Even novels have been written about their adventures.

From February 1962 to March 1973, the Donut Dollies serving in Vietnam logged over 2,000,000 miles by jeep, deuce-and-a-half, and helicopter visiting combat troops at remote fire bases.  And you know what—-they dispensed not a single doughnut!!!  Nope, they set up recreation centers, visited hospitals, comforted the wounded.  There were 627 Donut Dollies who served in Vietnam.  Three of them died in service.  In 1993, the Vietnam Women’s Memorial was dedicated on the National Mall in Washington D.C.  The monument was designed by Glenna Goodacre and funded by the Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation established by Diane Carlson Evans (a former Army nurse) in 1984.

There is a lot of information about the Donut Dollies in Vietnam. Much of it is available for purchase on Amazon.com. There were 627 women who served and they still get together for conventions and reunions.
Donut Dollies in Vietnam dispensed drinks and smiles and a little bit of “normal” to the guys counting the days until they would return home. (Archives Branch, USMC History Division, https://flickr.com/photos/60868061@N04/22797836283) cc-by-2.0
On the grounds of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is the first memorial placed in the nation’s capital honoring women’s military service. (Carol M. Highsmith, public domain)

And what is the bottom line here?    

Please remember, as you enjoy your luscious, sugary treat today:  the National Doughnut Day began in 1938 as an honor to the women who volunteered to serve with the Salvation Army in WWI.  From those days in 1918 right on to the days of Vietnam, women have volunteered and served in times of need.  The traditional celebration continues every year on the first Friday of June.

Kit, this one’s for you!!!

Oh, and by the way…..

…..the 2nd National Doughnut Day coming up on November 5, 2022—that is linked to the birthday of the United States Marine Corps on November 10, 1775!!!  The story goes:  American prisoners of war at Son Tay prison camp in Vietnam tricked their North Vietnamese guards into dispensing doughnuts in honor of the occasion!!!  The ruse is celebrated every year on November 5th.