— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) June 6, 2014
Each year, the United States pauses on the first Friday in June to observe perhaps our most glazed commemoration: National Doughnut* Day.
Why is there a National Doughnut Day? You are probably not even asking this question, because there’s a National Everything Day, with no topic, inanimate object or cartoon character too small to warrant a full 24-hour celebration of their existence. (Thursday was National Hug Your Cat Day, but you already knew that, because you spent the day carefully learning just how to best hug your cat.)
— National Donut Day (@DonutDayUSA) June 6, 2014
The Salvation Army says the first National Doughnut Day was celebrated in 1938. That event was held in Chicago to raise money for and bring attention to the organization’s social service programs during the Great Depression. They were also honoring the Salvation Army’s “Doughnut Girls” or “Doughnut Lassies” — their terms, not mine — who had handed out doughnuts in the trenches during World War I.
Now, more than 75 years later, we celebrate with free giveaways (though some aren’t really “free). You can get your free doughnut (only with the purchase of a drink) at Dunkin’ Donuts, or you can get a free doughnut at Krispy Kreme, you can get free doughnuts at Tim Hortons (the Canadian staple has 870 locations in the U.S., apparently). Or, if you’re so inclined, you can try to make your own doughnuts.
* — Our official style here at The Washington Post is “doughnut,” not “donut,” and you can quibble with this all you want, but quite frankly life is short and our time on Earth is finite and so I am going to contemplate this issue for precisely as long as it takes me to finish this sentence and not a second longer.