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Everything you need to know about the history of National Donut Day

Donuts have always been a beloved treat enjoyed by people of all ages. For some, it’s the perfect breakfast option, while for others, it’s the go-to snack of choice. Despite its simple ingredients, the end result is undeniably delicious. The popularity of donuts is so immense that a whole day is dedicated to celebrating them. In the United States, National Donut Day is observed on the first Friday of June each year, and this year, it falls on June 2.

Have you ever wondered why donuts have a hole in the center? While the exact reason is not definitively known, there are various theories explaining its existence. One theory credits an American sailor named Hanson Gregory, who supposedly invented the hole in 1847. Legend has it that Hanson was dissatisfied with the greasy center of fried cakes, which were crispy on the outside. To eliminate the inconsistent part, he decided to create a hole in the middle.

Another theory suggests that donuts gained popularity in America during the same period when bagels were becoming a trend. Bagels were sold in stacks, threaded onto sticks due to their hole. Some vendors thought it would be convenient to sell donuts with holes as well, taking inspiration from the bagel’s design.

The history of National Donut Day dates back to 1917 during World War I. Female volunteers from the Salvation Army, a charitable organization, made donuts for soldiers and served them in field bases on the front lines. The Salvation Army continued its philanthropic efforts during the Great Depression and eventually established National Donut Day to honor the work of these dedicated volunteers. In 1938, the first National Donut Day event took place in Chicago.

National Donut Day has since become a cherished tradition, celebrating not only the deliciousness of donuts but also the charitable spirit of the volunteers who supported soldiers and uplifted communities. It is a day to enjoy and appreciate the irresistible delight that donuts bring to our lives while remembering the history behind this beloved treat.


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