Yes, today, June 4th, is my birthday. Much to my delight, it's also National Donut Day. Donut Day was started as a fundraiser by the Salvation Army in 1938 to honor the women who served doughnuts to the soldiers during WWI. My husband got wind of the fact that free doughnuts were being offered today by Dunkin Donuts and suggested yesterday that we go this morning for a free birthday donut. I balked at the idea of getting up early and getting out of the house to go get a donut, because I'm usually sitting at my computer every morning in my jammies and taking care of my online business while I eat my breakfast. So the idea of going to get one of my favorite donuts and a delicious cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee sort of faded away ... or so I thought. When I woke up this morning, I found that my husband had already been up for hours, had gone to Dunkin Donuts, and brought home a dozen of my favorite donuts and two cups of coffee. We live with my parents, so instead of having my doughnut at the computer, we went upstairs and shared the doughnuts with them. I never did get my "free" doughnut, but the thoughtfulness of my husband has started my birthday off in a very "sweet" manner--in more than one way ... but actually, my birthday celebration started several days ago when birthday greetings began pouring in from so many of my wonderful Internet friends on Facebook and several of the other social networking sites I belong to. It may not seem like much to some, but just seeing the kinds of "Happy Birthday" greetings I've been getting lately puts a great big old smile on my face each and every time I see a new one, and that to me is worth more than gold. A sincere thank you and a loving hug to everyone who has sent a greeting my way this week. I treasure each and every single one of you. xo
More on the history of Donut Day according to Wikipedia:
Soon after the US entrance into World War I in 1917, the Salvation Army sent a fact-finding mission to France. The mission concluded that "huts" that could serve baked goods, provide writing supplies and stamps, and provide a clothes-mending service, would serve the needs of US enlisted men. Six staff members per hut should include four female volunteers who could "mother" the boys.
(The canteens/social centres that were established by the Salvation Army in the United States near army training centers were called "huts".)
About 250 Salvation Army volunteers went to France. Because of the difficulties of providing freshly-baked goods from huts established in abandoned buildings near to the front lines, two Salvation Army volunteers (Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance) came up with the idea of providing doughnuts. These are reported to have been an "instant hit", and "soon many soldiers were visiting Salvation Army huts". Margaret Sheldon wrote of one busy day "Today I made 22 pies, 300 doughnuts, 700 cups of coffee."
A legend has spread that the provision of doughnuts to US enlisted men in World War I is the origin of the term doughboy to describe US infantry, but the term was in use as early as the Mexican-American War of 1846-47.
To this day it is still a fund raiser run by The Salvation Army.