"We are gathered here, representatives of the major warring powers, to conclude a solemn agreement whereby peace may be restored."
Those were the words of General Douglas MacArthur when he opened the Japanese Surrender Proceedings on board the deck of the American battleship, U.S.S. "Missouri" on the morning of September 2, 1945. This report was filed by Yank correspondent Dale Kramer, who amusingly noted that all concerned were dressed in a manner fitting the occasion, with the exception of the American officers who (oddly) seemed unable to locate their neckties that morning.
Click here if you would like to read about the atomic blast over the Japanese city of Nagasaki.
Click here to read articles about post-war Japan.
Click here to read about August 28, 1945 - the day the American occupation began.
A copy of the signature page of the Japanese Surrender Document signed on the deck of the U.S.S. "Missouri" by all the various representatives of the combatant nations. The Document was signed 9:08 a.m., September 2, 1945 in Tokyo Harbor.
In addition to the U.S. representative, the document was signed by China, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the Soviet Union, Australia, New Zealand, France and Canada. Five pens were used and the Japanese delegates used ink brushes.
Click here if you would like to read about the official surrender of the German military.
"The city that had seen its own brand of fascism and international banditry tumble only a few months before had little energy left for reaction to the fall of Japan. The American Forces network broadcast the first authentic VJ news at 0210, and most of Berlin's polyglot occupation population, as well as most native Berliners, were asleep."
If you've been looking for a manifesto that would serve as a document of intention for the entire mass of Americans who make up "the Greatest Generation", you might have found it.
While the other articles on VJ-Day on this site illustrate well the pure joy and delight that was experienced by so many that day, this editorial cautions the G.I. readers to remember all that they have learned from the war while laying the groundwork for the policy that would check Soviet expansion all over the globe.
Here is a classic story about the failures in global communication during the pre-Twitter era. This article explains how there was a fifteen hour lag between the Japanese surrender and the time in which Tokyo heard that their offer had been accepted by the Allies.
"In the midst of a routine radio-teletype conference between GHQ officers in Manila and the War Department in Washington, the teletype suddenly began printing:
'Stand by for important message **** from Marshall to MacArthur ****you are hereby notified of Japanese capitulation ****'"
It all centered on one skanky, bullet-pocked, bomb-damaged Radio Operations Room in Manila.
"Boston's peace celebration exploded suddenly after the official news of Japanese surrender poured out of the countless radios. All morning and afternoon while many other cities were already wildly celebrating, the Hub, with true New England caution, waited soberly for confirmation."
"But the staid attitude was swept away...The most general impulse seemed to be to shout, sing and hug passers-by. For men in uniform the celebration seemed to be more of a kissing fest than anything else..."