The Connection Between Doughnut Day & Women

Bob Landry Photo-Doughnut DayToday, if you haven’t already heard, is National Doughnut Day.  While most of the media is covering bizarre doughnut facts (10 billion doughnuts are made in America every year–that’s 31 doughnuts per/person!) and where you can get free doughnuts (click here for some Jacksonville locations), we were more interested in this little story about the history of Doughnut Day from

During World War I, women volunteering for the Salvation Army made doughnuts for soldiers serving overseas as a way to boost morale. In 1938, the Chicago branch of the Salvation Army launched National Doughnut Day to raise funds and awareness for the organization’s work in the community, and to also recognize women’s contribution to the war effort.

During World War II, it was the Red Cross who picked up on the idea of “dough girls” to help boost the morale of the soldiers.  LIFE actually sent a photographer to capture the women in action writing, “They are hand-picked for looks, education, personality and experience in recreational fields.  They are hardy physically and have a sociable, friendly manner.”  This tiny act of kindness was so well-received by soldiers in England that they coined the phrase, “Doughnuts will win the war!”

As the article states, “Victory would come at a higher cost, of course, but doughnut lovers will be pleased to know that their favorite treat once served a nobler purpose.”

Enjoy your doughnuts today and take a few moments to enjoy these wonderful photos of “dough girls” edited by Liz Ronk, Photo Editor for





image from Landry–The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images