World War II (detail from Pearl Harbor photo)

Victory and Peace


The Allies celebrated the collapse of Germany and victory in Europe on V-E day, May 8, 1945. Across Britain, Europe, and the United States, jubilant crowds took to the streets, their elation—and relief—tempered by the knowledge that war still raged in the Pacific. But the celebrating was unrestrained on August 15, 1945, when Japan admitted defeat. “This is the day we have been waiting for since Pearl Harbor,” said President Harry Truman. “This is the day when Fascism finally dies.” Surrender documents were signed on September 2 in a ceremony aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

Germans sign surrender documents
The USS Missouri
Japanese sign surrender documents
Celebrating in the streets of New York
Allied troops celebrate victory over Japan
GIs homeward bound
GIs arrive in New York harbor aboard the Queen Mary