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

What is V-J Day?

Seventy-four years ago, 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, Japan accepted the terms of surrender and World War II was effectively over. Since then, August 15 has been recognized as Victory over Japan Day, or V-J Day.

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

V-J Day is observed August 15

Even though treaty between Japan and the United States was not formally signed until September 2, 1945, V-J Day is still observed on August 15 because that is the date that President Harry Truman announced Japan's official acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration to the American public.

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 15, 1945. Also, The History Channel has created a short video documenting the celebrations, which we have included below.

 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.

Photo Call!

Send us your pictures of World War II memorabilia, American flags, flagpoles, ropes, or other accessories! We would be honored to feature your photography in our blog or on Facebook. Remember, photos of damaged flags and accessories are valuable, too.

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Have a great day, from your friends at LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave®.


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