Often, these national recognition days are established by industry groups promoting a product category. When I looked up the origin of National Donut Day, I was surprised to find that the day was first recognized in 1938 by the Salvation Army to commemorate the volunteers (“doughgirls”) who distributed donuts to soldiers on the front lines (Fagan, 2009), although another source (Shanoon, 2014) refers to the volunteers as “donut lassies.” One blog recounts a story in which a POW in Hanoi during the Vietnam War convinced his captors that the Marine Corps birthday was known as National Donut Day (Dolbow, 2009). The guards were moved to serve sticky buns to the prisoners during November 1968.
National Donut Day or not, I love donuts. I remember them from quick stops at the E-Z Shop convenience store before school and as a treat on Saturday mornings after sleepovers with my best friend from sixth grade, Betsy R. When I lived in Oklahoma and had a long commute to work, I occasionally stoped for locally made treats.
Since I became vegan, though, I haven’t eaten donuts so much (which is perhaps a blessing). If I have the opportunity, though, I don’t pass it by. I had a delicious vegan glazed donut at Rise Above in St. Catheriene’s Ontario a few years ago. When a particular strong and unyielding craving struck about two years ago, I ordered a dozen through Vegan Essentials.
Last summer, visiting Portland, Oregon, I nearly cried with joy to learn that the famous Voodoo Doughnut offered a wide variety of vegan pastries. (Why no bakery in Ithaca offers vegan donuts is a mystery to me. Another instance of ITH being overrated, though I digress.) Apparently, the bakery has been featured on a number of foodie shows and publications. Consequently, during the day, the line extended down the block and doubled back amounting to an hour or so wait. The line did not deter me. I ate nearly 300 it seems, so it’s probably good that I was only there a week. The flavors I tried were as good if not better than non-vegan donuts. I can still smell the shop and taste the frosting! If I could teleport there right this minute, I would. They’re right, the donuts are magic. Nom nom nom.
- Dolbow, Jim (2009, November). “Today is National Donut Day: A funny POW story.” U.S. Naval Institute Blog (http://blog.usni.org/2009/11/10/today-is-national-donut-day-a-funny-pow-story).
- Fagan, Kevin (2009, June 6). “A holey holiday,” SF Gate.(http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/A-holey-holiday-National-Doughnut-Day-3230331.php.)
- McCook, Shannon (2013, June 7). “The story behind National Donut Day and Where to Find a Freebie,” Parade Magazine. (http://parade.condenast.com/20632/smccook/the-history-behind-national-doughnut-day-where-to-find-free-donuts/)
- Salvation Army. (nd). The History of Donut Day