Who were the Doughnut Lassies?

With so many to choose from, you are bound to find one pleasing to your palate! The first Friday in June is set aside as National Doughnut Day. It honors a time in America when during World War I ladies of the Salvation Army served doughnuts. These sugary treats were given to the men fighting on the front lines in Europe. The women were called “Doughnut Lassies”. Doughnuts had been invented before this time, but their mission during The Great War helped to make the doughnut one of America’s most popular treats.

Twenty-two Salvation Army officers went from the United States to the trenches of France in 1917, four of them women. Their goal was simple and straightforward – to help the troops forget about the war. They passed out hot chocolate and hosted dances. The most successful campaign was when they took bits of dough and fried it using lard. They cleverly fried these “doughnuts” inside the metal helmets of the soldiers. The operation grew until they were making 2,500 doughnuts a day.


During World War I American infantrymen were often called doughboys. The reason has nothing to do with the sugary treat.

Soldiers were likely called DOUGHBOYS stemming from their time fighting to defend the border of the United States against the Mexican rebel Pancho Villa. Foot soldiers were often covered in the white dust from the adobe and mounted soldiers began calling them “adobes” or “Dobies”. Within a few months, these dobies, or “Doughboys”, were redeployed to Europe to fight in World War I.

There they found the distraction served up by the Salvation Army by the lovely Salvation Army Lassies!

A permanent part of American Bakery items!

When the soldiers came home to the United States, they asked their wives and neighborhood bakeries to make doughnuts. Before you knew it – The doughnut became a permanent part of American cuisine.

When the Great Depression rolled around… the Salvation Army used doughnuts to raise money! They declared the First Friday in June National Doughnut Day. In exchange for a few coins in their red bucket, you could get a piping hot doughnut!

So, go out and grab some doughnuts today in honor of the Doughnut Lassies and do what they did best – Share them!

If you need some ideas for celebrating this holiday, Check out our Holiday of the Day Calendar

PS – if you are wondering about the spelling of DOUGHNUT vs DONUT

…if you’re into that sort of thing—is “doughnut.” The Americanized spelling is “donut.”

Christy of Happy Hive Homeschooling giving readers information how to celebrate the holiday of the day, as well as efficiently run their own happy hive!




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