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National Donut Day: A Sweet Salute to History & Community

Donut Day, a beloved American tradition, is a day to celebrate the deliciousness of donuts and the history behind this iconic treat. But when is National Donut Day, and why do we celebrate it? Let’s dive into the sweet story.

The Origins of National Donut Day

National Donut Day is celebrated twice a year in the United States:

  • The First Friday in June: This is the official National Donut Day, established in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army. It honors the “Donut Lassies” who served donuts to soldiers during World War I. These brave volunteers provided a taste of home and a morale boost to troops on the front lines.
  • November 5th: A second National Donut Day is observed on this date. Its origins are a bit murky, but some believe it stemmed from a clever ruse by American POWs during the Vietnam War, who tricked their captors into celebrating with donuts.

How We Celebrate National Donut Day

Donut Day is a nationwide celebration of all things donuts. Here’s how people typically participate:

  • Free Donuts: Many donut shops and bakeries offer free or discounted donuts to customers on Donut Day.
  • Donut Tastings: Some establishments hold special events featuring donut tastings and unique donut creations.
  • Donut Decorating Contests: These fun competitions allow participants to showcase their creativity and donut decorating skills.
  • Charity Fundraisers: The Salvation Army and other organizations often hold fundraisers centered around Donut Day.

The History of Donuts in America

Donuts have a rich history in America, dating back to the Dutch settlers who brought “olykoeks” (oil cakes) to the New World. However, it wasn’t until the late 19th century that donuts began to resemble the ring-shaped treats we know today. The invention of the donut machine in the 1920s revolutionized donut production and helped popularize them across the country.

Did You Know?

  • The average American consumes about 31 donuts per year.
  • There are over 10,000 donut shops in the United States.
  • The most popular type of donut is the glazed donut.

Donut Day Fun Facts

  • The Salvation Army estimates that the Donut Lassies served over 9,000 donuts per day to soldiers during WWI.
  • The world’s largest donut weighed over 1.7 tons.
  • The world record for donut eating is 55 glazed donuts in 8 minutes.

Celebrate Donut Day!

Whether you prefer classic glazed, chocolate frosted, or a unique gourmet creation, Donut Day is the perfect excuse to indulge in this sweet treat. Visit your local donut shop, try a new flavor, and share the donut love with friends and family.


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