National Doughnut Day: Free treats and a bit of history

So, is it doughnut or donut?

Happy National Doughnut Day!

(Gray News) – National Doughnut Day is Friday.

But unlike most of the ‘national day’ days, which seem to have been created by marketing departments, this one is rooted in history.

National Doughnut Day began more than 80 years ago in 1938 to honor The Salvation Army “Donut Lassies” who served the sweet treats to soldiers near the frontlines during World War I.

“The Donut Lassies are often credited with popularizing the donut in the United States when the troops returned home from war,” The Salvation Army website says.

From those humble beginnings, National Doughnut Day has become a high hole-a-day for some.

There are plenty of free doughnuts for the taking if you know where to go.

Local shops are creating amazing gourmet doughnuts and are the trendsetters in the industry. Check with them to see what their plans are.

But if you don't have a favorite local shop, the national and large regional chains are rolling out their specials (at participating locations):

  • Dunkin’ - Buy something to drink and get a free classic doughnut
  • Krispy Kreme - One free doughnut of your choice. You don’t need to buy anything.
  • Walmart - The retailer is giving away free doughnuts to customers at its 4,000 stores on Friday. By the end of the day, they expect to dole out 1.2 million of them.
  • Duck Donuts - Get a free classic doughnut. The offer includes bare, cinnamon sugar, or powdered sugar donuts. No purchase necessary.
  • Tim Hortons – No freebies, but the chain is Introducing the churro donut, a honey cruller filled with caramel filling and topped with cinnamon sugar for the occasion

And don’t worry, if you miss this National Doughnut Day, there’s another one on Nov. 5.


No one seems to know, but the one on the first Friday of June is the most celebrated of the two and gets the most attention.

Should you miss both days, there are others: June 8 is National Jelly-Filled Doughnut Day. National Cream-Filled Doughnut Day comes on September 14.

Just to be safe, celebrate them all.

Copyright 2019 Gray Television Group, Inc. All rights reserved.