The first Friday in June marks the sweetest of America's holidays: National Donut Day.  In honor of National Donut Day, we're bringing you nine little-known facts about the circle-shaped confection, courtesy of food writer Michael Krondl. Take a look:

  • 1. The Ur-nut

    AP

    New England settlers arrived from Hertfordshire with an obscure local specialty, the "Hertfordshire Nut" a.k.a. the "Dow-Nut."

  • 2. A Whale of a Nut

    Yankee whalers used to celebrate the one thousands barrel of whale oil by frying up donuts, in whale oil -- naturally.

  • 3. Dunkin Craze

    During the 1940s stars like Zero Mostel, Johnny Carson and Martha Graham were all members of National Dunking Association.

  • 4. Shooting Jelly Donuts

    In Vienna, aristocrats used to compete for a prize of silver pistols by shooting at flying donuts during Mardi Gras.

  • 5. Donuts Win the Great War

    Salvation Army volunteers kept up morale by frying up fresh donuts for the boys in the trenches.

  • 6. Donut Girls

    Red Cross volunteers risked life, limb and virtue as they drove donut-machine-equipped trucks to the front lines.

  • 7. Cops & Donuts

    In the 1940s and '50s, just about the only place open on the graveyard shift was the donut shop -- the habit stuck.

  • 8. Donut Day

    National Donut Day was started by Salvation Army in 1938 to raise money for a home for unmarried mothers. For a contribution, you got a cardboard donut.

  • 9. Halloween

    Long before candy, the ghoulish holiday was celebrated by bobbing for donuts hung from a string.

    For more facts, check out Michael Krondl's new book, "The Donut: History, Recipes and Lore from Boston to Berlin."