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VJ Day Remembered: Joy, Relief Swept America 75 Years Ago

A look back at how Americans celebrated the Japanese surrender that ended World War II

Remembering the End of World War II

On Aug. 14, 1945, millions of Americans rejoiced over news that Japanese forces had surrendered, ending World War II. From New York to Hawaii, people gathered, raised flags and paraded down city streets to mark the momentous occasion. Japan had never surrendered to a foreign power before.

Although most countries recognize Aug. 15 as Victory Over Japan (VJ) Day — due to time-zone differences it was already Aug. 15 in Japan when Emperor Hirohito broadcast the surrender in a radio message — in the U.S. it is widely acknowledged on Sept. 2. That's the date of the formal surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

Seventy-five years later, here's a look back at the VJ Day celebrations that occurred to mark the end of the deadliest war in human history.


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