V-J Day, When the Second Great War Was Finally Over

Japanese Surrender Aboard the USS Missouri, 1945
Representatives of the Empire of Japan aboard USS Missouri at the surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945

What is V-J Day?

On April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler's successor, Karl Dönitz first delivered an act of surrender on the part of Germany, effectively ending hostilities in Europe. However, the United States was not at ease, as fighting raged on in the Pacific and in eastern Asia.

Finally, on August 10, just days after the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japanese officials first announced their intent to surrender. On August 15, 1945 (August 14 in the United States), Japan accepted the terms of surrender and World War II was effectively over. Since then, August (14)15 has been recognized as Victory over Japan Day, or V-J Day.

Sailors celebrate the end of WWII, 1945
U.S. and Russian sailors celebrate the end of WWII

V-J Day is Observed September 2

The treaty between Japan and the United States was not formally signed until September 2, the modern date of observation for V-J Day in the U.S.

V-J Day was originally observed on August (14)15 because that is the date that President Harry Truman announced Japan's official acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration to the American public, and it is the date when most of Europe celebrates the end of the war.

In light of the close alliance that the United States and Japan have developed and shared in the aftermath of World War II, most states refrain from formally observing V-J Day, opting to commemorate V-E Day instead. However, Rhode Island continues to celebrate V-J Day on the second Monday of August each year.

V-J Day Celebration Photos, Video

Please enjoy this collection of photos from celebrations across the United States, August (14)15, 1945.

 Animated GIF People Celebrating VJ Day 1945
Photo montage of people celebrating V-J Day in 1945 from various locations all over the world.

Honor a World War II Veteran

The simplest gestures often matter most to the men and women whose sacrifices still make such a huge difference in our world today. If you'd like to present a gift to a service person or family member, LIBERTY FLAGS offers a full array of military flags, ceremonial flags, stick flags, and patriotic gifts.

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