Wednesday, February 21, 2024

On this Day in History: Victory Over Japan Day

Citizens and workers of Oak Ridge, Tennessee celebrate V-J Day on August 14, 1945 (Wikipedia)

INTERNATIONAL — On Sept. 2, 1945, Allied forces collectively came together to celebrate the official surrender of Japan in the wake of many years caught in brutal warfare.

On Aug. 14, 1945, President Harry S. Truman announced Japan’s unconditional surrender, thus signifying the end of World War II.

Truman stated, “This day is a new beginning in the history of freedom on this earth. Our global victory has come from the courage and stamina and spirit of free men and women united in determination to fight.” To read the official transcript of this news conference, click here.

The next day, Japanese Emperor Hirohito broadcast Japan’s surrender to the Japanese people.

While celebrations erupted all over the world, there was still something else that needed to occur in order to make the surrender official.

On Sept. 2, 1945, Supreme Commander of Allied Forces Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz met with Japanese representatives aboard the USS Missouri (BB-63) to formally sign the Instrument of Surrender; MacArthur for the United Nations, Nimitz on behalf of the United States.

Did you know…
Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s mother’s hometown was Norfolk. He felt a close kinship with the Hampton Roads city, and, upon passing away, was buried in Norfolk. Today, visitors can learn more about Gen. MacArthur at The MacArthur Memorial, located at 198 Bank St. in Norfolk.

In attendance at the ceremony was also Navy Adm. William F Halsey, the commander of U.S. 3rd Fleet as well as delegates and representatives from Allied nations: Australia, Canada, China, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom.

The ceremony lasted only  a half hour, with a recording of the U.S. National Anthem played and a Navy chaplain delivering an invocation. As the sun broke through the clouds over Tokyo Bay, hundreds of American airplanes flew over the Missouri.

Below is a video from Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS), produced by Spc. Velencia McNeal, 28th Public Affairs Detachment, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii  in 2019 for the seventy-fourth anniversary of V-J Day:

Click through the photo gallery below for a look at V-J Day:

For more information about this and other subjects pertaining to World War II, visit the website for The National World War II Museum, located in New Orleans, La.



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