National Donut Day, which falls on the first Friday of June every year, isn’t all sugar and spice and everything nice (though it does involve hefty doses of the first, and a sprinkle of the second.)
Founded in 1938, National Donut Day commemorates the women who tirelessly offered up donuts to soldiers during World War I. The sugary-sweet pastries first became popular with troops in 1917, after a nurse named Helen Purvience served the first donut to a man in uniform from the Salvation Army.
Donut stores across America are marking the dessert’s holiday by handing out free donuts: Krispy Kreme is offering one free donut per customer, no purchase necessary, while Dunkin’ Donuts locations are dishing out free donuts with the purchase of a beverage, according to the Monitor.
New York City is celebrating the donut in Madison Square Park, after Mayor Bloomberg declared the day “NYC Donut Day.” Bloomberg took the sugary celebrations in stride, however, as they come one day after the New York Mayor proposed a ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks in restaurants, delis and movie theaters, in a bid to fight obesity in the American city.