A Tribute To The Lassies With Helmets – Doughnut Day 2018

Doughnut (Donut) Day

June 1, 2018

Allegedly, the origins of Doughnut Day came about during WW I, when an insightful military doctor gave doughnuts to each patient he worked on in order to raise their spirits. It is said that he gave away approximately 8 dozen donuts. One of the soldiers, inspired by the doctor’s bedside manner and generosity, decided to start a fundraiser so that the doctor could continue to provide the doughnuts.

This fundraiser began working together with the Salvation Army who determined that many needs of the soldiers could be met by creating social center huts that would provide all sorts of amenities, including clothing, kindness and the doughnuts. The organization eventually sent 250 volunteers overseas to help put these huts together.

“After discovering that serving baked goods would be difficult considering the conditions of the huts and the limited rations, two volunteers – Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance – began frying donuts in soldiers’ helmets. These tasty treats boosted morale and won the hearts of many soldiers. Nicknamed ‘Donut Lassies,’ the women who served donuts to troops are often credited with popularizing the donut in the United States when the troops (nicknamed ‘doughboys’) returned home from war,” according to The Salvation Army.

Eventually, in 1938, National Donut Day was officially designated as a tribute to The Salvation Army “Doughnut Lassies” and their efforts during WWI. It is celebrated every year on the first Friday in June.

Now as far as the spelling goes… Doughnut vs. donut? The answer, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is both are correct. How can that be? Well, apparently mid-century marketing word has a lot to do with it.

“We’ve been encountering the variant donut in published, edited text since the mid-20th century. It was certainly helped along by famous doughnut purveyors – both Dunkin’ and Mister* – but in truth they and all who’ve accepted the variant were following in a tradition of phonetic-based spelling reform also embraced by the likes of Benjamin Franklin and Noah Webster,” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary Words at Play blog. “Our inclusion of donut is based solely on evidence of the variant in a variety of published, edited texts. It is at this point a fully accepted spelling, though rumor has it the Associated Press still prefers doughnut.”

*Dunkin’ Donuts and Mister Donut, were two doughnut chains founded by brothers-in-law in the mid-1950s. The first Dunkin’ Donuts was opened in 1950. In 1955, Franchising began and the 100th location opened in 1963 and the 1,000th shop in 1979. Mister Donut opened in Boston in 1955, it expanded to nearly 1,000 locations in the United States until the American arm of the business was acquired by the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts, in 1990. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

%d bloggers like this: