Today is National Chocolate Ice Cream Day and National Doughnut Day!
I have no special insight on the origins of Ice Cream Day. My bet is that the ice cream industry created it to get more money. Doughnut Day, however, honors the Salvation Army “Lassies” of WWI. It is also used as a fund raiser for needy causes of the Salvation Army. The original Salvation Army Doughnut was first served by Salvation Army in 1917. During WWI, Salvation Army “lassies” were sent to the front lines of Europe. These brave volunteers made home cooked foods, and provided a morale boost to the troops. Often, the doughnuts were cooked in oil inside the of the metal helmet of an American soldier. The American infantrymen were commonly called doughboys. Salvation Army lassies were the only women outside of military personnel allowed to visit the front lines. Lt. Colonel Helen Purviance is considered the Salvation Army’s “first doughnut girl”.
Sadly, I don’t know of any places giving out free chocolate ice cream. However, Krispy Kreme is giving away free doughnuts with no purchase necessary. One doughnut per customer (but how would they really know?). Dunkin’ Donuts is giving away a free doughnut with the purchase of a large beverage.
Enjoy your day of gluttony!