Friday, June 6, 2008

Weird and Wacky Holidays for June 6

OK, I'm going to try to get back to writing about these crazy holidays again.

Today is Donut Day. Started by the Salvation Army, the first Friday and Saturday of June are known as Donut Day. Sure, the group didn't invent the wheel here, but they did start this holiday for a wonderful reason.

During WWI, U.S. soldiers were hungry and cold due to rains that lasted just over a month. In a tent near the front lines, women from the Salvation Army made donuts by putting oil in a pail, making dough with ingredients on hand, and rolling the dough with a wine bottle. The ladies used a baking powder can to cut the donuts and fried them in soldier's steel helmets on a small stove. 100 donuts were made that day. Rains collapsed the tents, but the ladies continued cooking.

Soon, as many as 500 soldiers stood in the mud waiting for a hot donut. Over 9000 donuts were being made around the clock. Other units heard about the donut shop under a tent and began making their own, supplying the treat for the front lines.

Following the war, the "doughboys" wanted the taste of the donuts they'd eaten in France. American bakeries hadn't heard of the donut, but they began making them and the fried donut became a popular treat in the U.S.

Donut Day began in 1938 as a fundraising effort for the Salvation Army and as a tribute to the Army 'lassies' who served donuts to thousands of soldiers during World War I.

My grandfather was in France during WWI. I wonder if he ever had any of the Salvation Army donuts.

Today is also D-Day. D-Day is a term used by the military to denote a day when a combat operation will be initiated. Probably the most notorious D-Day is June 6, 1944, when the Normandy invasion began.

In the past, today has been Hunger Awareness Day, but the folks at America's Second Harvest - the nation's food bank network - will now spend the month of September promoting Hunger Action month.... but go ahead now and take action. Food pantries across the U.S. are running low on supplies and donations. They need help from everyone.

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