You can thank the Army for National Donut Day

History
(U.S. Army photo)

Editor's note: This story originally appeared in June 2017.

National Doughnut Day began in 1938 when the Chicago Salvation Army set out to honor a group of women known as "doughnut lassies."


The lassies got their start in 1917 when Helen Purviance, an ensign in the Salvation Army, traveled to France to work with the 1st Army Division during World War I. She partnered up with another officer, Ensign Margaret Sheldon, and together they rolled crullers by hand to give to homesick soldiers.

According to book called “American Women in World War I," Sheldon said she made at least 300 doughnuts in the course of one day. According to the Salvation Army, the sweet, doughy treat became so popular that eventually the lassies made anywhere from 2,500 to 9,000 doughnuts a day.

The yearning for doughnuts among soldiers persisted long after the war ended. Tales of treat made their way back to America, and in 1920, the first doughnut machine was invented in New York City by a man named Adolph Levitt.

The Salvation Army's impact was so great that the lassies reprised their role in serving donuts during World War II as well.

And doughnut fervor has yet to subside, as national chains like Honeydew, Dunkin' Donuts, and Krispy Kreme continue pushing out millions of delicious pastries in countless varieties year after year.

These chains even honor the lassies by offering free doughnuts nationwide on the first Friday every June.

See the history of the Salvation Army donut girls here:

See the history of the Salvation Army donut girls here.

Maj. Matthew Golsteyn in Afghanistan. (Photo courtesy of Philip Stackhouse.)

Nearly a decade after he allegedly murdered an unarmed Afghan civilian during a 2010 deployment, the case of Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn is finally going to trial.

Read More Show Less
In this May 28, 2019 file photo, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban group's top political leader, second left, arrives with other members of the Taliban delegation for talks in Moscow, Russia. (Associated Press/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The Taliban have sent a delegation to Russia to discuss prospects for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan following the collapse of talks with the United States this month, officials from the insurgent group said.

The move, days after President Donald Trump canceled a planned meeting with Taliban leaders at his Camp David retreat, came as the movement looks to bolster regional support, with visits also planned for China, Iran and Central Asian states.

Read More Show Less
Joe Heller (Legacy.com)

Per his final demands, Joe Heller was laid in his casket Thursday in a T-shirt featuring the Disney dwarf Grumpy and the middle finger of his right hand extended. He also told his daughters to make sure and place a remote control fart machine in the coffin with him.

"My father always wanted the last laugh," daughter Monique Heller said.

The Essex volunteer firefighter and self-described local "dawg kecher" died on Sept. 8 at age 82, and the off-color obituary written by his youngest daughter has become a nationwide sensation — a lead item on cable news sites, a top story on The Courant's website and a post shared far and wide on social media.

Laced with bawdy humor, the irreverent but loving obit captured Heller's highly inappropriate nature and his golden heart, friends who filled the fire station for a celebration of his life on Thursday evening said.

Read More Show Less

A 19-year-old man who planned a July mass shooting at a West Lubbock hotel that was thwarted by his grandmother was upset that he was considered "defective" by the military when he was discharged for his mental illness, according to court records.

William Patrick Williams faces federal charges for reportedly lying on an application to buy the semiautomatic rifle he planned to use in a shooting, according to a federal indictment filed Aug. 14.

He is charged with a federal felony count of making a false material statement during the purchase of a firearm on July 11, a day before he planned to lure people out of a hotel and shoot them. The charge carries a punishment of up to five years in prison.

Read More Show Less
A photograph circulated by the U.S. State Department's Twitter account to announce a $1 million USD reward for al Qaeda key leader Hamza bin Laden, son of Osama bin Laden, is seen March 1, 2019. (State Department via Reuters)

Reuters) - Hamza bin Laden, a son of slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and himself a notable figure in the militant group, was killed in a U.S. counter-terrorism operation, the White House said on Saturday.

Read More Show Less