I am often amused and intrigued by how we commemorate certain days, weeks and months in America. Some are declared to be so by the President. Others are by declaration of any level of civic leader. With all of that in mind, did you know that today — June 4, 2010 — is National Doughnut Day?
Most commemorated days don’t register for me, but this one caught my eye — rather it caused me to begin salivating. Who thought of this day? We usually assume that Hallmark has a hand in many of these days, but not this one. It actually has origins in WWI and The Salvation Army. The Salvation Army sent women to set up huts amongst the US soldiers in France. Among other items, the doughnuts became a big hit. Then in 1938 the Chicago branch of The Salvation Army set aside June 4th as a fundraiser to honor these WWI women of mercy with Doughnut Day.
The day continues each year with doughnut makers offering specials to commemorate the day. For example, Dunkin’ Donuts is offering a free donut with a beverage purchase. Krispy Kreme is giving away a free donut to each person without regard to a purchase.
Did you notice the switch from doughnut to donut? That’s what we do in the English language.
Personally, I have fond memories of making a late night stop to Krispy Kreme on Bardstown Road in Louisville, Kentucky. Getting a few donuts hot off of the assembly line is an incredible experience in tasty satisfaction. Alas, it is a guilty pleasure. For a diabetic, donuts offer a double-whammy. Dough plus sugar is not a great combination for a diabetic. According to Krispy Kreme’s website, the key nutritional values for a single glazed donut are 200 calories, 12 grams of fat and 22 grams of carbs. That would be okay, but who can eat only 1 Krispy Kreme donut?
How does all of this play into a blog like Pulpit 2 Pew? Apart from the stereotypical police officer, Sunday School classes must be the primary source of consumption for donuts. This was confirmed this Sunday, when a young lady carried a box of donuts past me as she entered church. I confess that I was momentarily distracted from my preparation to worship as I wondered where this young lady might be sitting and if she really wanted to take all of the leftover donuts home with her.
So when you eat your next donut, think of those women from The Salvation Army providing treats for our soldiers in 1917 France.