National Doughnut Day: Get a Free Krispy Kreme Today

You might think Independence Day is the only summer holiday, but you would be so, so wrong.

The first Friday in June (which happens to be today) is a sweet and hole-y summer holiday -- National Doughnut Day. Sure, there may be no barbecues, burgers, and hot dogs to look forward to or any swinging parties or backyard soirees thrown to celebrate National Doughnut Day, but there's something even better.

Krispy Kreme, arguably every local's favorite doughnut shop, is giving away doughnuts to celebrate this most doughy of days.

You don't need to purchase anything -- just stop by and ask for your free doughnut. You can stick with the classic glazed or buck tradition by selecting one of the other available varieties -- the choice is yours.

As you munch on your sweet treat, mull over the following theories:

Some say the idea for the holiday was born during World War II when a wounded soldier by the name of Samuel Geary received a doughnut from military doctor Morgan Pett.

Dr. Pett picked up doughnuts on his way to the base that June in 1938, or so the story goes, and handed one out to each of his patients. Lieutenant General Geary was so moved by the doctor's gesture that he joined forces with him to make sure that each and every wounded American soldier received a free doughnut, and thus, National Doughnut Day was born -- at least according to this widely circulated version of events.

However, the Salvation Army claims to have created the holiday. According to its website, the charity organization initiated National Doughnut Day as a fundraising effort during the Great Depression. The organization also claims the holiday commemorates its volunteer "donut lassies" who provided stamps, meals, and, of course, doughnuts to soldiers on the front lines.

Salvation Army legend has it that Margaret Sheldon and Helen Purviance, two of the 250 volunteers providing aid to American soldiers in France during Word War I, fried the treats only seven at a time due to equipment limitations, and considered using the soldiers' helmets as deep fryers to increase production.

Whichever tale you choose to believe, the fact is that someone, at some time, had a very good idea, and we gluttonous, fried-dough-loving Americans get to reap the rewards. Freedom might not be free, but your next doughnut is. God bless America.

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