National Doughnut Day - Free Ones at Dunkin' Donuts

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Yup, Homer, there really is a National Doughnut Day, established in 1938, if you look into it. Dunkin' Donuts is offering a free doughnut today in all its stores (one to a customer) in honor of the "hole-a-day."


National Doughnut Day a Depression Era Event

It came about because of the Salvation Army Lassies - women who served doughnuts, pies and other treats to the soldiers on the front lines of World War I.

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Salvation Army files
Salvation Army Lassies in the field

​Lt. Col. Helen Purviance is recorded by Sally Ann history books as being the first "doughnut girl."

The S.A. women were the only ones outside of military personnel who were allowed on the front lines - preceding the Red Cross workers.

Dough in the field

Doughnuts weren't the easiest things to make in the French battlefields, but the women accomplished it -- using wine bottles as rolling pins and frying them over campfires. Once the popular treat caught on, up to 9,000 doughnuts a day were created.

The soldiers, who were served the coffee, small meals and doughnuts, came to be known as doughboys forever after.

Want to make your own doughtnuts at home? Check out my recipe.


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