The Local History Behind Friday’s National Donut Day is Pretty Sweet

1919 Blue Island Sun Standard Headline with WW1 Donut Recipe, Don’t Forget the Salvation Army (My Doughnut Girl) Sheet Music, photo of Salvation Army Donuts

In 1917, Salvation Army officers, Lt. Colonel Helen Purviance, and Margaret Sheldon developed the idea to make doughnuts for the troops of World War 1. Having over 200 hundred volunteers, barely any ingredients, and frying donuts in the helmets of soldiers, it is estimated that the now famously named “Salvation Army Lassies” or “doughnut lassies”, provided no less than over one million donuts to the troops of WW1.

So riding the popularity of the donut, in 1938 the Salvation Army instituted the first National Doughnut Day in Chicago to memorialize the Salvation Army doughnut volunteers from World War I.

So this Friday you can pay tribute to the volunteers of the era by listening to the song “Don’t forget the Salvation Army (My Doughnut Girl) song, buy some donuts, or try to make the original treat. If you’ve never made one before, here is a video on how to make the original WW1 Salvation Army Doughnut.

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