Victory over Japan Day

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Victory over Japan Day
Surrender of Japan - USS Missouri.jpg
Representatives of the Empire of Japan aboard USS Missouri at the surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945
Also calledV-J Day, Victory in the Pacific Day, V-P Day
Date Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of Australia (converted).svg Flag of New Zealand.svg Flag of the Netherlands.svg August 15
Flag of South Korea.svg Flag of North Korea.svg August 15 1945 (National Liberation Day)
Flag of Hong Kong 1959.svg August 30 (Liberation Day)
Flag of the United States.svg September 2
Flag of the Republic of China.svg Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Flag of Hong Kong.svg Flag of Macau.svg September 3
Frequencyannual
Related to Victory in Europe Day

Victory over Japan Day (also known as V-J Day, Victory in the Pacific Day, or V-P Day) is the day on which Imperial Japan surrendered in World War II, in effect bringing the war to an end. The term has been applied to both of the days on which the initial announcement of Japan's surrender was made – to the afternoon of August 15, 1945, in Japan, and because of time zone differences, to August 14, 1945 (when it was announced in the United States and the rest of the Americas and Eastern Pacific Islands) – as well as to September 2, 1945, when the signing of the surrender document occurred, officially ending World War II.

Surrender of Japan surrender of the Empire of Japan during the World War II

The surrender of Imperial Japan was announced on August 15 and formally signed on September 2, 1945, bringing the hostilities of World War II to a close. By the end of July 1945, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) was incapable of conducting major operations and an Allied invasion of Japan was imminent. Together with the British Empire and China, the United States called for the unconditional surrender of the Japanese armed forces in the Potsdam Declaration on July 26, 1945—the alternative being "prompt and utter destruction". While publicly stating their intent to fight on to the bitter end, Japan's leaders were privately making entreaties to the still-neutral Soviet Union to mediate peace on terms more favorable to the Japanese. Meanwhile, the Soviets were preparing to attack Japanese forces in Manchuria and Korea in fulfillment of promises they had secretly made to the United States and the United Kingdom at the Tehran and Yalta Conferences.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

The end of World War II in Asia occurred on 2 September 1945, when armed forces of the Empire of Japan surrendered to the forces of the Allies. The surrender came almost four months after the surrender of the Axis forces in Europe and brought an end to World War II.

Contents

August 15 is the official V-J Day for the UK, while the official US commemoration is September 2. [1] The name, V-J Day, had been selected by the Allies after they named V-E Day for the victory in Europe.

Victory in Europe Day public holiday

Victory in Europe Day, generally known as V-E Day, VE Day or simply V Day, was celebrated on 8 May 1945 to mark the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender of its armed forces. The formal surrender of the German forces occupying the Channel Islands did not occur until the following day, 9 May 1945. It thus marked the end of World War II in Europe.

On September 2, 1945, a formal surrender ceremony was performed in Tokyo Bay, Japan, aboard the battleship USS Missouri. In Japan, August 15 usually is known as the " memorial day for the end of the war "(終戦記念日,Shūsen-kinenbi); the official name for the day, however, is "the day for mourning of war dead and praying for peace"(戦没者を追悼し平和を祈念する日,Senbotsusha o tsuitōshi heiwa o kinensuru hi). This official name was adopted in 1982 by an ordinance issued by the Japanese government. [2]

Tokyo Bay Bay of Japan area

Tokyo Bay is a bay located in the southern Kantō region of Japan, and spans the coasts of Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture, and Chiba Prefecture. Tokyo Bay is connected to the Pacific Ocean by the Uraga Channel. Its old name was Edo Bay. The Tokyo Bay region is both the most populous and largest industrialized area in Japan.

USS <i>Missouri</i> (BB-63) Iowa-class battleship of the U.S. Navy

USS Missouri (BB-63) is an Iowa-class battleship and was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named after the U.S. state of Missouri. Missouri was the last battleship commissioned by the United States and is best remembered as the site of the surrender of the Empire of Japan which ended World War II.

Japan Constitutional monarchy in East Asia

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.

Surrender

Events before V-J Day

On August 6 and 9, 1945, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively. On August 9, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan. The Japanese government on August 10 communicated its intention to surrender under the terms of the Potsdam Declaration.

Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki the use of atomic weapons by the United States on Japan towards the end of World War II

During the final stage of World War II, the United States detonated two nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, respectively. The United States dropped the bombs after obtaining the consent of the United Kingdom, as required by the Quebec Agreement. The two bombings killed 129,000–226,000 people, most of whom were civilians. They remain the only use of nuclear weapons in the history of armed conflict.

Soviet–Japanese War war

The Soviet–Japanese War was a military conflict within World War II beginning soon after midnight on August 9, 1945, with the Soviet invasion of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo. The Soviets and Mongolians terminated Japanese control of Manchukuo, Mengjiang, northern Korea, Karafuto, and the Chishima Islands. The defeat of Japan's Kwantung Army helped in the Japanese surrender and the termination of World War II. The Soviet entry into the war was a significant factor in the Japanese government's decision to surrender unconditionally, as it made apparent the Soviet Union would no longer be willing to act as a third party in negotiating an end to hostilities on conditional terms.

Potsdam Declaration Article 8

The Potsdam Declaration or the Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender was a statement that called for the surrender of all Japanese armed forces during World War II. On July 26, 1945, United States President Harry S. Truman, United Kingdom Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Chairman of the Nationalist Government of China Chiang Kai-shek issued the document, which outlined the terms of surrender for the Empire of Japan as agreed upon at the Potsdam Conference. This ultimatum stated that, if Japan did not surrender, it would face "prompt and utter destruction".

The news of the Japanese offer, however, was enough to begin early celebrations around the world. Allied soldiers in London danced in a conga line on Regent Street. Americans and Frenchmen in Paris paraded on the Champs-Élysées singing "Don't Fence Me In". American soldiers in Berlin shouted "It's over in the Pacific", and hoped that they would now not be transferred there to fight the Japanese. Germans stated that the Japanese were wise enough to—unlike themselves—give up in a hopeless situation, but were grateful that the atomic bomb was not ready in time to be used against them. Moscow newspapers briefly reported on the atomic bombings with no commentary of any kind. While "Russians and foreigners alike could hardly talk about anything else", the Soviet government refused to make any statements on the bombs' implication for politics or science. [3]

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Conga line international novelty dance

The conga line is a novelty line dance that was derived from the Cuban carnival dance of the same name and became popular in the US in the 1930s and 1950s. The dancers form a long, processing line, which would usually turn into a circle. It has three shuffle steps on the beat, followed by a kick that is slightly ahead of the fourth beat. The conga, a term sometimes mistakenly believed to be derived from the African region of Congo, is both a lyrical and danceable genre, rooted in the music of carnival troupes or comparsas.

Regent Street street in London

Regent Street is a major shopping street in the West End of London. It is named after George, the Prince Regent and was laid out under the direction of the architect John Nash and James Burton. It runs from Waterloo Place in St James's at the southern end, through Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus, to All Souls Church. From there Langham Place and Portland Place continue the route to Regent's Park.

In Chungking, Chinese fired firecrackers and "almost buried [Americans] in gratitude". In Manila, residents sang "God Bless America". On Okinawa, six men were killed and dozens were wounded as American soldiers "took every weapon within reach and started firing into the sky" to celebrate; ships sounded general quarters and fired anti-aircraft guns as their crews believed that a kamikaze attack was occurring. On Tinian island, B-29 crews preparing for their next mission over Japan were told that it was cancelled, but that they could not celebrate because it might be rescheduled. [3]

Manila Capital / Highly Urbanized City in National Capital Region, Philippines

Manila, officially the City of Manila, is the capital of the Philippines. It is the most densely populated city proper in the world. It was the first chartered city by virtue of the Philippine Commission Act 183 on July 31, 1901 and gained autonomy with the passage of Republic Act No. 409 or the "Revised Charter of the City of Manila" on June 18, 1949.

"God Bless America" is an American patriotic song written by Irving Berlin during World War I in 1918 and revised by him in the run up to World War II in 1938. The later version has notably been recorded by Kate Smith, becoming her signature song.

General quarters, battle stations, or action stations is an announcement made aboard a naval warship to signal that all hands aboard a ship must go to battle stations as quickly as possible.

Japan's acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration

A little after noon Japan Standard Time on August 15, 1945, Emperor Hirohito's announcement of Japan's acceptance of the terms of the Potsdam Declaration was broadcast to the Japanese people over the radio. Earlier the same day, the Japanese government had broadcast an announcement over Radio Tokyo that "acceptance of the Potsdam Proclamation [would be] coming soon", and had advised the Allies of the surrender by sending a cable to U.S. President Harry S Truman via the Swiss diplomatic mission in Washington, D.C. [4] A nationwide broadcast by Truman was aired at seven o'clock p.m. (daylight time in Washington, D.C.) on Tuesday, August 14, announcing the communication and that the formal event was scheduled for September 2. In his announcement of Japan's surrender on August 14, Truman said that "the proclamation of V-J Day must wait upon the formal signing of the surrender terms by Japan". [5]

Since the European Axis Powers had surrendered three months earlier (V-E Day), V-J Day was the effective end of World War II, although a peace treaty between Japan and most of the Allies was not signed until 1952, and between Japan and the Soviet Union in 1956. In Australia, the name V-P Day was used from the outset. The Canberra Times of August 14, 1945, refers to V-P Day celebrations, and a public holiday for V-P Day was gazetted by the government in that year according to the Australian War Memorial. [6] [7]

Public celebrations

After news of the Japanese acceptance and before Truman's announcement, Americans began celebrating "as if joy had been rationed and saved up for the three years, eight months and seven days since Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941" (the day of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor), Life magazine reported. [8] In Washington, D.C. a crowd attempted to break into the White House grounds as they shouted "We want Harry!" [9] [10]

In San Francisco two women jumped naked into a pond at the Civic Center to soldiers' cheers. [8] More seriously, thousands of drunken people, the vast majority of them Navy enlistees who had not served in the war theatre, embarked in what the San Francisco Chronicle summarized in 2015 as "a three-night orgy of vandalism, looting, assault, robbery, rape and murder" and "the deadliest riots in the city's history", with more than 1,000 people injured, 13 killed, and at least six women raped. None of these acts resulted in serious criminal charges, and no civilian or military official was sanctioned, leading the Chronicle to conclude that "the city simply tried to pretend the riots never happened". [11]

The largest crowd in the history of New York City's Times Square gathered to celebrate. [8] The victory itself was announced by a headline on the "zipper" news ticker at One Times Square, which read "*** OFFICIAL TRUMAN ANNOUNCES JAPANESE SURRENDER ***"; the six asterisks represented the branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. [12] In the Garment District, workers threw out cloth scraps and ticker tape, leaving a pile five inches deep on the streets. The news of the war's end sparked a "coast-to-coast frenzy of [servicemen] kissing . . . everyone in skirts that happened along," with Life publishing photographs of such kisses in Washington, Kansas City, Los Angeles, and Miami. [8]

Famous photographs

Victor Jorgensen's photo published in The New York Times Kissing the War Goodbye.jpg
Victor Jorgensen's photo published in The New York Times

One of the best-known kisses that day appeared in V-J Day in Times Square , one of the most famous photographs ever published by Life. It was shot on August 14, 1945, shortly after the announcement by President Truman occurred and people began to gather in celebration. Alfred Eisenstaedt went to Times Square to take candid photographs and spotted a sailor who "grabbed something in white. And I stood there, and they kissed. And I snapped four times." [13] The same moment was captured in a very similar photograph by Navy photographer Victor Jorgensen (right), published in the New York Times . [14] Several people have since claimed to be the sailor and nurse. [15] It has since been established that the woman in the Alfred Eisenstaedt photograph was Greta Zimmer Friedman.

Another famous photograph is that of the Dancing Man in Elizabeth Street, Sydney, captured by a press photographer and a Movietone newsreel. The film and stills from it have taken on iconic status in Australian history and culture as a symbol of victory in the war.

Japanese reaction

Japanese commanders listen to the terms of surrender aboard an Australian warship. COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM In de haven van Kupang (Timor) luisteren de Japanse bevelhebber kolonel Kaida Tatuichi en zijn stafcommandant majoor Muiosu Slioji aan dek van H TMnr 10001519.jpg
Japanese commanders listen to the terms of surrender aboard an Australian warship.

On August 15 and 16, some Japanese soldiers, devastated by the surrender, committed suicide. Well over 100 American prisoners of war were also murdered. In addition, many Australian and British prisoners of war were murdered in Borneo, at both Ranau and Sandakan, by the Imperial Japanese Army. [16] At Batu Lintang camp, also in Borneo, death orders were found which proposed the murder of some 2,000 POWs and civilian internees on September 15, 1945, but the camp was liberated four days before these orders were due to be carried out. [17]

Ceremony aboard USS Missouri

The formal signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender took place on board the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945, and at that time Truman declared September 2 to be the official V-J Day. [18]

Chronology

Post war:

Commemoration

China

As the final official surrender of Japan was accepted aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945, the Nationalist Government of the Republic of China, which represented China on the Missouri, announced three-day holidays to celebrate V-J Day, starting September 3. Starting from 1946, September 3 was celebrated as "Victory of War of Resistance against Japan Day" (Chinese :抗日戰爭勝利紀念日; pinyin :Kàngrì Zhànzhēng Shènglì Jìniànrì), which evolved into the Armed Forces Day (Chinese :軍人節) in 1955. September 3 is recognized as V-J Day in mainland China. [25]

Hong Kong

The Union Jack and the flag of the Republic of China were flown at the Cenotaph 1945 liberation of Hong Kong at Cenotaph.jpg
The Union Jack and the flag of the Republic of China were flown at the Cenotaph

Hong Kong was handed over by the Imperial Japanese Army to the Royal Navy on August 30, 1945, and resumed its pre-war status as a British dependency. Hong Kong celebrated the "Liberation Day" (Chinese:重光紀念日; Jyutping:cung4 gwong1 gei2 nim3 jat6) on August 30 (later moved to the Saturday preceding the last Monday in August) annually, which was a public holiday before 1997. After the transfer of sovereignty in 1997, the celebration was moved to the third Monday in August and renamed "Sino-Japanese War Victory Day", the Chinese name of which is literally "Victory of War of Resistance against Japan Day" as in the rest of China, but this day was removed from the list of public holidays in 1999. In 2014, the Chief Executive's Office announced that a commemoration ceremony would be held on September 3, in line with the "Victory Day of the Chinese people's war of resistance against Japanese aggression" in mainland China. [26]

South Korea and North Korea

Gwangbokjeol , (meaning "the day the light returned") celebrated annually on August 15, is a public holiday in South Korea. It commemorates Victory over Japan Day, which liberated Korea from Japanese rule. [27] The day is also celebrated as a public holiday, Liberation Day, in North Korea, and is the only public holiday celebrated in both Koreas.

Netherlands

Indisch monument by Jaroslawa Dankowa [nl
], 1989. The Hague, Netherlands. Denhaag Indisch monument.jpg
Indisch monument by Jaroslawa Dankowa  [ nl ], 1989. The Hague, Netherlands.

The Netherlands has one national and several regional or local remembrance services on or around August 15. The national service is at the "Indisch monument" (Dutch for "Indies Monument") in The Hague, where the victims of the Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies are remembered, usually in the presence of the head of state and the government. In total, there are about 20 services, also in the Indies remembrance center in Bronbeek in Arnhem. The Japanese occupation meant the twilight of Dutch colonial rule over Indonesia. Indonesia declared itself independent on August 17, 1945, just two days after the Japanese surrendered. The Indonesian War of Independence lasted until 1949, with the Netherlands recognizing Indonesian sovereignty in late December of that year.

North Vietnam

On the day of the surrender of Japan, Hồ Chí Minh declared an independent Democratic Republic of Vietnam. [28]

United States

Although September 2 is the designated "V-J Day" in the entire United States, the event is recognized as an official holiday only in the U.S. state of Rhode Island, where the holiday's official name is "Victory Day", [29] and it is observed on the second Monday of August. There were several attempts in the 1980s and 1990s to eliminate or rename the holiday on the grounds that it is discriminatory. While those all failed, the Rhode Island General Assembly did pass a resolution in 1990 "stating that Victory Day is not a day to express satisfaction in the destruction and death caused by nuclear bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki." [30]

V-J Day was initially commemorated all throughout the rest of the United States every year on September 2, beginning in 1948 and continuing until 1975, when the Arkansas became the last state (other than Rhode Island) to drop the holiday. According to WPRI-TV, the reason for abolishing V-J Day in every state other than Rhode Island was economic. There was even a debate over whether or not even Rhode Island would abolish V-J Day. Since then, V-J Day has not been officially commemorated in any other state. [31]

Australia

Victory celebrations at Caloundra, Queensland 1945 V.P. Day Celebrations at Caloundra Lighthouse, 1945.jpg
Victory celebrations at Caloundra, Queensland 1945

In Australia, many use the term "VP Day" in preference to "VJ Day", but in the publication The Sixth Year of War in Pictures published by The Sun News-Pictorial in 1946, the term "VJ Day" is used on pages 250 and 251. [32] Also an Australian Government 50th Anniversary Medal issued in 1995 has "VJ-Day" stamped on it. [33] [ not in citation given ]

Amateur radio

Amateur radio operators in Australia hold the "Remembrance Day Contest" on the weekend nearest VP Day, August 15, remembering amateur radio operators who died during World War II and to encourage friendly participation and help improve the operating skills of participants. The contest runs for 24 hours, from 0800 UTC on the Saturday, preceded by a broadcast including a speech by a dignitary or notable Australian (such as the Prime Minister of Australia, Governor-General of Australia, or a military leader) and the reading of the names of amateur radio operators who are known to have died. It is organized by the Wireless Institute of Australia, with operators in each Australian state contacting operators in other states, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea. A trophy is awarded to the state that can boast the greatest rate of participation, based on a formula including: number of operators, number of contacts made, and radio frequency bands used. [34]

World Peace Day

It was suggested in the 1960s to declare September 2, the anniversary of the end of World War II, as an international holiday to be called World Peace Day. However, when this holiday came to be first celebrated beginning in 1981, it was designated as September 21, the day the General Assembly of the United Nations begins its deliberations each year.

See also

Notes

  1. Oak Ridge was part of the Manhattan Project, which resulted in the atomic bomb.

Related Research Articles

Potsdam Conference

The Potsdam Conference was held at Cecilienhof, the home of Crown Prince Wilhelm in Potsdam, occupied Germany, from 17 July to 2 August 1945. The participants were the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States, represented respectively by Communist Party General Secretary Joseph Stalin, Prime Ministers Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee, and President Harry S. Truman.

<i>Jewel Voice Broadcast</i> radio broadcast in which Japanese Emperor Hirohito announce to the Japanese people the unconditional surrender of the Japanese military at the end of World War II

The Jewel Voice Broadcast was the radio broadcast in which Japanese Emperor Hirohito read out the Imperial Rescript on the Termination of the Greater East Asia War, announcing to the Japanese people that the Japanese Government had accepted the Potsdam Declaration demanding the unconditional surrender of the Japanese military at the end of World War II. This speech was broadcast at noon Japan Standard Time on August 15, 1945.

Operation Downfall codename for the Allied plan for the invasion of Japan near the end of World War II

Operation Downfall was the proposed Allied plan for the invasion of Japan near the end of World War II. The planned operation was cancelled when Japan surrendered following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Soviet declaration of war, and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria. The operation had two parts: Operation Olympic and Operation Coronet. Set to begin in November 1945, Operation Olympic was intended to capture the southern third of the southernmost main Japanese island, Kyūshū, with the recently captured island of Okinawa to be used as a staging area. Later, in the spring of 1946, Operation Coronet was the planned invasion of the Kantō Plain, near Tokyo, on the Japanese island of Honshu. Airbases on Kyūshū captured in Operation Olympic would allow land-based air support for Operation Coronet. If Downfall had taken place, it would have been the largest amphibious operation in history.

Japanese Instrument of Surrender

The Japanese Instrument of Surrender was the written agreement that formalized the surrender of the Empire of Japan, marking the end of World War II. It was signed by representatives from the Empire of Japan, the United States of America, the Republic of China, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of Canada, the Provisional Government of the French Republic, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the Dominion of New Zealand. The signing took place on the deck of USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.

Retrocession Day day marking the anniversary of the end of Japanese rule over Taiwan on 25 October 1945

Taiwan Retrocession Day is an annual observance and unofficial holiday in the Republic of China to commemorate the end of 50 years of Japanese rule of Taiwan and Penghu, and their claimed handover to the Republic of China on 25 October 1945. However, the idea of "Taiwan retrocession" is in dispute.

1945 in the United States USA-related events during the year of 1945

Events from the year 1945 in the United States. World War II ended during this year following the surrender of Germany in May and that of Japan in September.

<i>V-J Day in Times Square</i> Photograph

V-J Day in Times Square is a photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt that portrays a U.S. Navy sailor grabbing and kissing a stranger—a woman in a white dress—on Victory over Japan Day in New York City's Times Square on August 14, 1945. The photograph was published a week later in Life magazine, among many photographs of celebrations around the United States that were presented in a twelve-page section titled "Victory Celebrations". A two-page spread faces three other kissing poses among celebrators in Washington, D.C.; Kansas City; and Miami opposite Eisenstaedt's, which was given a full-page display. Kissing was a favorite pose encouraged by media photographers of service personnel during the war, but Eisenstaedt was photographing a spontaneous event that occurred in Times Square soon before the announcement of the end of the war with Japan was made by U.S. President Harry S. Truman at seven o'clock.

Debate over the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

The debate over the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki concerns the ethical, legal, and military controversies surrounding the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 August and 9 August 1945 at the close of World War II (1939–45). The Soviet Union declared war on Japan an hour before 9 August and invaded Manchuria at one minute past midnight; Japan surrendered on 15 August.

The following events occurred in July 1945:

This is a timeline of the events that stretched over the period of World War II from January 1945 to its conclusion and legal aftermath.

Shun'ichi Kase was a Japanese diplomat both during and after World War II.

Victory Day (United States)

Victory Day is a holiday observed in the United States state of Rhode Island with state offices closed on the second Monday of August. Furthermore, in 2017, WPRI-TV claimed that Arkansas and Rhode Island were the only two states to ever celebrate the holiday, though Arkansas's name for the holiday was "World War II Memorial Day."

The following events occurred in August 1945:

The Empire of Japan entered World War II by launching a surprise offensive which opened with the attack on Pearl Harbor at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian Time on December 7, 1941. Over the course of seven hours there were coordinated Japanese attacks on the U.S.-held Philippines, Guam and Wake Island and on the British Empire in Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong. The strategic goals of the offensive were to cripple the U.S. Pacific fleet, capture oil fields in the Dutch East Indies, and expand the outer reaches of the Japanese Empire to create a formidable defensive perimeter around newly acquired territory.

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