Its origins go back much further — to 1938, to be exact — and the day is as much about the people behind the food as it is about the ring of fried dough itself.
During World War I, women volunteering for the Salvation Army made doughnuts for soldiers serving overseas as a way to boost morale. National Doughnut Day was launched in 1938 by the Chicago branch of the Salvation Army, in part as a way to raise funds for, and awareness of, the organization's work in the community. But the spirit behind the day was the recognition of these women's contribution to the war effort.
The tradition begun by the Salvation Army's dough girls or dough lassies, as they were sometimes called, was picked up again by the Red Cross during World War II, when LIFE dispatched a photographer to capture the women in action. The women Bob Landry photographed were posted in England, one of 72 similar outfits across the country. And the morale boost they brought was not only a result of the treats they offered. As LIFE wrote of the volunteers, “They are hand-picked for looks, education, personality and experience in recreational fields. They are hardy physically and have a sociable, friendly manner.”
The soldiers featured in LIFE, stationed in England in 1944, would greet the women with “howls of delight,” their spirits successfully lifted to the point that the slogan “doughnuts will win the war!” became popular among them. Victory would come at a higher cost, of course, but doughnut lovers will be pleased to know that their favourite treat once served a nobler purpose.
Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth?! Visit these Top Bakeries and Pastry Shops today and we assure you that you will not be disappointed.
Garden Bakery in Edmonton
The Old Apothecary in Halifax
Patisserie Gateau in Markham
Made for you by Madeleine in Hamilton
Croissant express in Oakville
Ce Food Experience & The Bakery in Kitchener/Waterloo
Eat My Sweets Bakery in Mississauga
Three Tarts in Ottawa
Sugar Mama's in St. John's
Tart Bakery Dallas in Dallas
Common Bond Cafe and Bakery in Houston
Sanremo Bakery in Toronto
Purebread in Vancouver
Origin Bakery in Victoria
Healthy Creations Inc. in Windsor
Decadently Yours in Guelph
Weil's of Westdale Bakery in Hamilton
Black Forest Pastry Shop in Oakville
Quack's 43rd Street Bakery in Austin
Ambrosia Pastry co. in Kitchener/Waterloo
WOW Patisserie in Richmond Hill
Holland's Cake and Shake in Ottawa
cupCAKE in Barrie
Thobors in Toronto
Dolce Bake Shop in Winnipeg
Lavish cupcakes in Vaughan