V-E day, or Victory in Europe Day, marks the end of World War II in Europe-May 8, 1945. When news of Germany's surrender was leaked by journalists, people across North America and Europe took to the streets and celebrated with parades, dancing, kissing and general merrymaking. America's soldiers were still involved in fighting until Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945. Today, we honor both momentous days in history.
Though this iconic kiss occurred months after V-E day on August, 15, 1945 (V-J day) when Americans celebrated the surrender of Japan, it has come to represent the end of WWII as a whole.
This photo was taken on June 17, 1945 in New York city as men of the 86th Infantry Division of the third Army stood on deck of their ship as women on the dock waved, awaiting their arrival.
Here, Londoners gather to celebrate the end of the great European war. Crowds massed in Trafalgar Square and up the Mall to Buckingham Palace, where King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, accompanied by the Prime Minister Winston Churchill, appeared on the balcony of the Palace to greet cheering crowds.
Old Historic Photos
Crowds gather with raucous joy in Bay Street, Toronto, to welcome the end of World War II.
Men, women and children gather in the Harringay area of London to display a more "orderly" manner of celebration in enjoyment of this momentous victory.
This image was captured from a video of American soldiers using military-issue shovels during WWII. V-E day meant coming home for many war-weary American soldiers.
Nelson A. Shuey Photograph Collection
Four MP's read in the Stars and Stripes newspaper about the Nazi surrender while taking a break on a German road.
Allan House / Ministry of Defense
In 1995, a Lancaster from the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight dropped poppies over London to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the V-E Day Celebrations.
The dancing does not end in London as men and women celebrate the Allies' victory.
The streets swarm with multitudes of people celebrating V-E day on May 8, 1945.
Originally, the Allies agreed to celebrate V-E day on May 9th, but journalists leaked news of the exciting victory. Thus, we celebrate on May 8th.
On September 2, 1945, MacArthur, Supreme Commander for the Allied Forces, signed the Japanese Surrender Document aboard the battleship, U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay, Japan.
The ground wasn't sufficient for these Londoners on V-E Day. Some perch atop statues, and one person has even climbed a lamp post for a better view of the celebrations.
Daily Mail UK
This image of Cologne around the time of V-E day displays the immense destruction caused over the course of the war.
On Elbe day, American and Soviet troops shake hands across the Elbe River on April 25, 1945. This important day marked progress for the allies. They had successfully split Germany into two.
African American youths celebrate the end of World War II with an exuberant car ride.
Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images
As seen in one of the more shocking iconic V-E Day photos, African Americans hang an effigy of Hitler on V-E Day in Baltimore, Maryland.
A crowd celebrates the end of World War II in Times Square by holding the newspaper headlines high.
In Whitehall, London, V-E day crowds celebrate following Prime Minister Winston Churchill's speech.
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