You wake up on the first Friday of June and feel a rush of excitement. It's National Donut Day, your favorite sugary holiday! How did this delicious tradition come to be? Believe it or not, National Donut Day has been around since 1938 as a way to honor The Salvation Army Donut Girls of World War I. These volunteers provided home-baked donuts to soldiers on the front lines, boosting morale and bringing a taste of home. After the war, The Salvation Army established National Donut Day to raise funds and pay tribute to these "Doughnut Dollies." Today, donut shops across America offer free or discounted donuts to celebrate. So grab your favorite - glazed, jelly-filled or cream-filled - and take a bite of history. National Donut Day is a uniquely American classic worth celebrating.
The Origin Story: How Donut Day Began
Get ready to celebrate one of America's sweetest holidays - National Donut Day! This delicious day of indulgence has been around since 1938 and was started for a great reason.
- Originally called "Donut Day", it began as a fundraiser for The Salvation Army during the Great Depression. Volunteers gave out donuts and coffee to veterans and those in need. What a thoughtful way to raise spirits during such a difficult time!
- The holiday gained more mainstream popularity in the 1950s and was used as a way for donut shops to attract new customers. Krispy Kreme and Dunkin' Donuts offered free donuts, and Americans happily obliged!
- These days, donut shops across the country still offer free or discounted donuts to continue the tradition. It's a wonderful excuse to treat yourself to your favorite flavor. Whether you prefer chocolate frosted, powdered sugar, jelly-filled or classic glazed, there's something for everyone.
- Donut Day also aims to recognize the contributions of The Salvation Army's "Donut Lassies" who served donuts to soldiers on the front lines during World War I. These brave women brought moments of joy and comfort to troops in a time of tremendous hardship. Their efforts highlight the power of small acts of kindness.
So grab your friends, head to your local donut shop and celebrate this sweet holiday in style. Indulge in a delicious donut (or two!) and share photos using #NationalDonutDay. Most of all, remember the reason for the season - spreading cheer and giving back to those in need. Now that's something worth celebrating!
The Salvation Army’s Role in Spreading Donut Day Joy
The Salvation Army played an instrumental role in spreading the joy of National Donut Day across America. In 1917, Salvation Army volunteers provided doughnuts and other treats to soldiers on the front lines of World War I.
The delicious pastries were fried in soldiers’ helmets and brought smiles and comfort during a difficult time. After the war, The Salvation Army honored this history by creating National Donut Day.
The first National Donut Day was celebrated in Chicago in 1938. Its goal was to raise funds for Salvation Army programs that helped those in need during the Great Depression. People were encouraged to donate money to The Salvation Army in exchange for a free donut.
What started as a fundraiser in Chicago has since spread into a nationwide celebration. On the first Friday of June each year, donut shops and bakeries across the country offer free or discounted donuts to continue The Salvation Army’s original mission. It’s a day of indulgence and goodwill that allows people from all walks of life to come together over a shared love of the almighty donut.
Whether you prefer cake donuts or yeast donuts, National Donut Day is for you. Head to your local bakery on June 4th and grab a free donut (or two!) to take part in this sweet tradition. While you’re there, consider dropping some change in The Salvation Army’s red kettles to help spread the joy to those less fortunate.
After over 80 years, National Donut Day remains a cheerful event that highlights the simple pleasures in life and brings communities together. All thanks to The Salvation Army volunteers who first brought donuts and hope to soldiers so long ago.
The Rise of the Doughnut in America: From Immigrant Treat to National Obsession
The Sweet Treat Takes Off
Once doughnuts made their way to America in the early 1900s, their popularity spread like wildfire. Immigrants opening bakeries and diners across the country started offering doughnuts as an inexpensive treat, and Americans couldn’t get enough of the fried-dough delicacies.
- New automated doughnut cutters were introduced, making them easier and quicker to produce. Machines could churn out hundreds of doughnuts an hour, fueling their rise.
- During World Wars I and II, Salvation Army volunteers passed out doughnuts to soldiers to boost morale, exposing many to their deliciousness for the first time. After the wars, soldiers came home craving more of the sweet snacks they had grown to love.
- Franchises like Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts opened, turning doughnuts into a hugely successful commercial enterprise. People lined up around the block when new locations opened.
A National Obsession Emerges
It’s no wonder that National Doughnut Day was established in 1938 to honor the Salvation Army volunteers who had brightened soldiers’ days with doughnuts during World War I. Over 80 years later, the holiday is still celebrated on the first Friday of June each year.
People all across America now look forward to indulging in their favorite doughy treats on National Doughnut Day. Whether you prefer cake doughnuts or yeast-risen rings, filled or unfilled, simple glazed or decked out in sprinkles, National Doughnut Day has something for everyone. The once humble fried cakes have become a source of joy, nostalgia, and national pride.
So on June 4th, make sure to do your patriotic duty—go out and enjoy a delicious doughnut (or two!) in honor of this sweet American tradition. After all, what’s more all-American than doughnuts?
How Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’ and Other Chains Made Donuts a Household Name
Donut shops like Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ helped launch donuts into mainstream popularity and turn National Donut Day into the sweet celebration it is today.
Krispy Kreme: Hot, Fresh and Glazed to Perfection
When Krispy Kreme opened in 1937, founder Vernon Rudolph began making donuts that were yeast-raised, cut out by hand, and fried to a golden brown, then glazed hot. People went wild for the melt-in-your-mouth treats and the brand grew quickly. By the 1950s, Krispy Kreme was selling over 25 million donuts a year across the U.S. Today, you can find over 1,000 Krispy Kreme shops worldwide, all still making donuts the same delicious way. There’s nothing quite like walking into a Krispy Kreme and smelling those hot, fresh donuts rolling down the conveyor belt, ready to be devoured!
Dunkin’: America’s Favorite Coffee and Donut Shop
Dunkin’ Donuts, now just Dunkin’, opened in 1950 and helped popularize donuts and coffee as the perfect pairing. They offered over 52 varieties of donuts along with fresh-brewed coffee, becoming a staple of American mornings. Dunkin’ now has over 12,000 locations serving 3 million customers daily in 46 countries. From classic glazed and chocolate frosted to creative specialty donuts, Dunkin’ has a little something for everyone.
Spreading the Donut Love
Other major chains like Tim Hortons, Winchell’s Donuts, and Shipley Do-Nuts also helped bring donuts into the mainstream and turn National Donut Day into a coast-to-coast celebration. Thanks to these sweet shops, donuts have become ingrained in American culture and daily life. On National Donut Day, make sure to stop by your favorite donut shop to get your free donut and say thanks for helping make donuts a household name!
The Most Popular Donut Flavors in America
When it comes to donuts, Americans have some clear favorites. On National Donut Day, people flock to their local donut shops to get their hands on the most popular, classic flavors. Here are the donuts that inspire the most joy and delight across the country.
Is there anything more iconic than a simple glazed donut? The sweet, glistening treat is always a crowd pleaser. Glazed donuts are fried dough at its finest, coated in a sugary icing that melts in your mouth. No wonder they’re considered an American classic and a favorite on National Donut Day.
Chocoholics, rejoice! Chocolate donuts are a chocolately dream come true. Whether topped with chocolate icing, filled with chocolate cream, or dipped in chocolate, chocolate donuts satisfy your sweet tooth in the most delicious way. The combination of fried dough and chocolate is simply irresistible.
Fun, colorful and playful, sprinkles donuts are especially popular with kids and the young at heart. Rainbow sprinkles, chocolate sprinkles, or custom sprinkles in your favorite colors and shapes—the options are endless. Sprinkles donuts transform a simple glazed or chocolate donut into an exciting treat and work of art. They’re just plain fun!
Jelly, cream, custard or Bavarian cream—if you want an extra special donut, go for a filled one. Filled donuts have a surprise center of sweet filling that oozes out with every bite. Biting into a warm, fried donut only to discover a burst of fruity jelly or rich cream is a joy like no other. Filled donuts are deliciously decadent and always a delightful treat on National Donut Day.
Donuts come in many shapes, sizes and flavors, but on National Donut Day, you really can’t go wrong with an classic. Glazed, chocolate, sprinkles or filled, America’s favorite donuts are always a reason to celebrate. Happy National Donut Day! Dig in and enjoy a sweet treat.
How National Donut Day Goes Viral Every Year
Every first Friday in June, doughnut shops across America are flooded with customers eagerly awaiting free doughnuts in celebration of National Doughnut Day. This fun food holiday has become a viral sensation, with people sharing photos of their free treats and shops posting about the big day for weeks leading up to it.
The Sweet Origins
National Doughnut Day was established in 1938 by the Salvation Army to honor the “Doughnut Lassies” who served the treats to soldiers during World War I. The holiday is meant to raise awareness of the Salvation Army’s social service programs and pay tribute to the women who brightened the days of soldiers so long ago.
Social Media Frenzy
These days, National Doughnut Day creates a buzz on social media that would make any marketing team proud. Doughnut shops start promoting special deals and freebies weeks in advance, whipping up excitement. On the big day, people flock to their favorite shops to score a free doughnut or two and snap photos to share on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Seeing all the delicious pics in their feeds, others are inspired to go get their own free treats. And so the viral cycle continues!
Something for Everyone
The best part of National Doughnut Day is that there’s something for everyone. Whether you prefer classic glazed doughnuts, colorful sprinkles, or trendy filled doughnuts, you’ll find an option to satisfy your craving. Dietary restrictions? No problem - shops offer freebies for those avoiding gluten, sugar, or other ingredients. This inclusive spirit and the sheer joy of indulging in a sweet treat are what give National Doughnut Day such wide appeal.
So mark your calendars for the first Friday in June and get ready to join in the fun. Head to your favorite doughnut shop, grab a free treat (or two!), and share with the hashtag #NationalDoughnutDay. This delicious holiday comes but once a year, so make the most of it! Let’s all do our part to help National Doughnut Day go viral again.
The Best Donut Day Deals and Freebies
Free Donuts Galore!
Get ready for a sugar rush—it’s National Donut Day! On the first Friday of June each year, donut shops across the country offer amazing deals and freebies to celebrate. This is one holiday you’ll want to indulge in.
First stop, Krispy Kreme. They’re giving away a free donut of your choice, no purchase necessary. Go classic with an Original Glazed or try something new like their Oreo donut. Either way, you really can’t go wrong.
Dunkin’ Donuts is also getting in on the fun by offering a free classic donut with the purchase of any beverage. Grab an iced coffee or frozen drink to pair with your donut. They have over 30 varieties to choose from, so you’ll have lots of tasty options.
Locally owned shops are the best, and many participate in Donut Day deals. Do some searching online to find shops in your area. They may offer buy-one-get-one free donuts or donate a portion of sales to charities like The Salvation Army. Supporting small businesses and giving back to your community? Win-win!
Share the Joy
Donut Day only comes once a year, so spread the excitement! Post on social media using #NationalDonutDay and tag your favorite donut shops. Share photos of your tasty treats and let people know about the best deals in your area. Donut Day is more fun when you celebrate with others.
This delicious holiday honors donut girls who served donuts to soldiers during World War I. While the deals and freebies are hard to beat, take a moment to appreciate the history behind the day. Then grab another donut—you deserve it after learning something new!
Donut Day comes and goes quickly, so start your morning off right by stopping by your local donut shop. Treat yourself to something sweet, share with friends and family, and thank the shop for their Donut Day generosity. A perfect start to the weekend, if you ask me. Happy Donut Day! Now go get your donut on!
How to Celebrate Donut Day: Events and Traditions
Get Your Donut On!
It’s time to celebrate one of America’s sweetest holidays—National Donut Day! Held annually on the first Friday of June, Donut Day honors the Salvation Army “Donut Lassies” who served donuts to soldiers during World War I. Today, it’s all about indulging in delicious donuts at your favorite bakeries and donut shops.
Find Donut Day Deals and Freebies
Many major donut chains like Dunkin’, Krispy Kreme and Tim Hortons offer free donuts or massive discounts on Donut Day. Some may give away a free donut with any beverage purchase, while others provide a free half dozen or dozen donuts with a minimum purchase. Local donut shops also get in on the fun, so call around to find the best Donut Day specials in your area. Stock up on your favorite flavors like glazed, chocolate frosted, sprinkles or maple bacon—the options are endless!
Donut Day Events and Competitions
Some cities host exciting Donut Day events, contests and fundraisers. In New York City, Union Square hosts an interactive Donut Dash scavenger hunt. In Portland, Oregon, the Donut Olympics feature competitive donut eating and donut art competitions. Many food festivals spotlight gourmet donut makers, who create unique flavors like hibiscus margarita, s’mores and peanut butter sriracha. Check with local event websites or your city’s social media to find Donut Day happenings in your community.
Make Donuts at Home
If you want to really celebrate Donut Day in style, make a batch of homemade donuts. Gather ingredients like flour, sugar, yeast, milk, eggs and oil. Roll out the dough, cut out circles and fry them up in oil until golden brown. Once cooled, decorate your donuts with icing, sprinkles, crushed Oreos or fresh fruit. Homemade donuts always impress and are perfect for sharing with family and friends on National Donut Day.
However you choose to observe Donut Day, make it a sweet celebration by embracing your love of donuts! Indulge in a free donut, try an exciting new flavor, or make a batch of homemade donuts to share. Donut Day only comes once a year, so get out there and enjoy it!
Donut Day FAQs: Your Questions About America's Sweetest Holiday Answered
Donut Day only comes once a year, so you’ll want to make the most of this sweetest of holidays! Here are the answers to your burning questions about National Donut Day.
When is National Donut Day?
The first Friday of June is National Donut Day in the U.S. and Canada. Mark your calendars for June 3rd this year and get ready to celebrate!
Why do we celebrate Donut Day?
Donut Day was established in 1938 by The Salvation Army to honor the “Donut Lassies” who served donuts to soldiers during World War I. It’s a day to recognize the charitable work of The Salvation Army and enjoy a delicious donut (or two!).
Where can I get free donuts on Donut Day?
Many donut shops like Dunkin’, Krispy Kreme and Tim Hortons offer free donuts or donut deals on Donut Day. Some may require you to make a purchase or show a coupon, so check with your local stores for details.
- Dunkin’ gives away a free classic donut with the purchase of any beverage.
- Krispy Kreme offers one free donut of your choice, no purchase necessary.
- Tim Hortons has buy-one-get-one free donuts and specials on donut boxes to share.
What kind of donuts should I eat on Donut Day?
The options are endless! Go classic with a glazed donut, chocolate frosted or jelly-filled. Or try something more adventurous like:
- Maple bacon donut - A sweet and savory combo of maple icing and bacon crumbles.
- S’mores donut - Graham cracker crumbs, marshmallow and chocolate icing.
- Key lime donut - Bright key lime curd filling and lime zest icing.
- Red velvet donut - Cream cheese icing on a red velvet cake donut.
However you choose to celebrate, have a happy National Donut Day! Treat yourself to your favorite donuts and share the joy with friends and family. Donut Day only comes once a year, so make it count and enjoy every sweet bite.
So there you have it, the sweet story of how National Donut Day came to be. This delicious holiday has endured for over 80 years thanks to the Salvation Army's efforts to boost morale during difficult times. While the donuts may have changed over the decades, embracing new flavors and forms, the spirit of goodwill and community on the first Friday of June lives on. This year, be sure to do your part - grab your favorite donut, share with friends or strangers, and spread the joy. After all, there's no better way to celebrate freedom and simple pleasures than by indulging in a classic American treat like the donut. Happy National Donut Day! May your day be filled with laughter, new memories, and of course, donuts.