The Salvation Army celebrated the first National Donut Day in 1938.
In 1917, The Salvation Army began a mission to provide spiritual and emotional support for U.S. soldiers fighting in France during World War I.
About 250 volunteers traveled overseas and set up small huts near the front lines where they could give soldiers clothes, supplies and, of course, baked goods.
Despite discovering that serving baked goods would be difficult considering the conditions of the huts and the limited rations, two officers – Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance – began frying donuts in a small pan. These tasty treats boosted morale and won the hearts of many soldiers.