For anyone who doesn’t have access to the internet…or television, or radio, or newspapers, or any other form of media, I should inform you that today is National Doughnut Day (and also World Environment Day, but that’s apparently much less important).  Ever wonder how or why this fattening tradition got started?  I assumed it was created by some struggling baker who wasn’t making enough “dough” (sorry, I couldn’t resist).  You know, kind of like a “Hallmark holiday;” a day that was invented as a marketing ploy.  So, I did a little research.

It turns out that National Doughnut Day got its start in 1938 as a fundraiser for the Salvation Army.  They decided on “doughnut” day because female Salvation Army volunteers had handed out doughnuts, among other supplies, on the front lines in France during WWI.  (These “Doughnut Lassies,” later more commonly referred to as “Doughnut Dollies,” continued to supply troops with doughnuts until the end of the Vietnam War.)  Today, nearly 80 years after its inception, the Salvation Army still uses the day to raise money, and many local and national doughnut shops donate a portion of their sales.

It’s nice to know that there is a good cause behind National Doughnut Day, or Day From Hell, as it’s probably referred to by those in the industry.  I feel like less of a sucker for taking my kids to get doughnuts today, regardless of whether or not our local shop was donating.  I hope they were, of course.  I’m quite sure, based on the line out the door and the depleted supply of dunkable delights, that the shop could afford to help the cause.

I will probably decide not to participate in the upcoming “national days,” including National Russian Language Day (June 6), National VCR Day (June 7), National Donald Duck Day (June 9), National Ballpoint Pen Day (June 10), and National Beef Jerky Day (June 12).  I will just wait until the more widely known, but still in need of attention, National Father’s Day (June 19, by the way).

Now you know that today is a national day worth supporting, so grab a doughnut and hope that some of your money is going to a good cause.  If nothing else, enjoy indulging a little on a Friday.  My kids certainly did.