|Benzie Area Historical Museum||
A quick history of National Doughnut day
Friday, June 2, 2017 is National Doughnut day. Here's a little history to help you properly celebrate the day!
In 1917 Helen Purviance, an ensign in the Salvation Army, was sent to France to work with the American First Division. She, and a fellow officer, Ensign Margaret Sheldon, patted dough into shape by had but soon employed an ordinary wine bottle as a rolling pin. Since they had no doughnut cutter, they used a knife to cut the dough into strips and then twisted them into crullers. "There was a prayer in my heart that somehow this home touch would do more for those who ate the doughnuts than satisfy a physical hunger."
Soon the aroma of frying doughnuts drew a long line of soldiers, standing in mud and rain and waiting for their doughnuts. Although Ensigns Purviance and Sheldon worked into the night, they could serve only 150 doughnuts that first day. The next day, that number doubled and a while later, when fully equipped for the job, they fried from 2500 to 9000 doughnuts daily as did other "lassies: along the frontline trenches.
The soldiers cheered the doughnuts and soon referred to Salvation Army women as "doughnut girls". The simply doughnut became a symbol of all that the Salvation Army was doing to ease the hardships of the frontline fighting man-- the canteens in primitive dugouts and huts, the free refreshments, religious services, concerts and a clothes-mending service.
National Doughnut Day was created by the Salvation Army in 1938 to honor the women who served doughnuts to soldiers in WW1. The day began as a fundraiser for the Chicago Salvation Army with the goal of raising fund to help the needy during the depression.
"Call to the Colors: Benzie and WW1"
Between mid-1914 and mid-1919, 35,600 American patriotic songs were copyrighted and 7,300 were published. Most of these popular songs were good at conveying messages of pride patriotism, calls to action and, sometimes, even shame or guilt for those who did not support the war. They were very effective propaganda!
Our WW1 exhibit, "Gone to the Colors: Benzie and WW1" takes its title from a William Herschell and Leon Idoine song, "The Kid has Gone to the Colors." Note the lyrics:
The Kid has gone to the Colors
And we don't know what to say;
The Kid we loved and cuddled
Stepped out for the Flag today
We thought him a child, a baby,
With never a care at all.
But his country called him man-size
And the Kid has heard the call.
He paused to watch the recruiting
Where, fired by the fife and drum,
He bowed his head to Old Glory
And thought that it whispered "Come!"
The Kid, not being a slacker
Stood forth with patriot-joy
To add his name to the roster--
And God, we're proud of the boy!
The Kid has gone to the Colors;
It seems but a little while
Since he drilled a schoolboy army
In a truly martial style.
But now he's a man, a soldier,
And we lend him a lisgtening ear,
For his heart is a heart all loyal,
Unscourged by the curse of fear.