May 8, 2013
V-E DAY CELEBRATED END OF WAR IN EUROPE 68 YEARS AGO TODAY
London, Moscow, New York, Ottawa, Paris and cities around the world (JFK+50) The war in Europe came to an end 68 years ago today, May 8, 1945, as the Allies celebrated the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany.
The instrument of surrender had been signed by General Alfred Jodl*, Chief of Operations Staff of the Armed Forces High Command, the previous day in REIMS, FRANCE at 02:41 GMT.
May 7, 1945
FDR Library/NARA Photo
*Jodl was later tried as a war criminal at Nuremberg, found guilty, sentenced to death and hanged.
Millions of people in cities across the globe celebrated the day by taking to the streets.
In the United States, President Harry S Truman, also celebrating his 61st birthday, said his only wish was that "Franklin D. Roosevelt had lived to witness this day."
There was also a huge celebration in New York City's TIMES SQUARE.
MPs Read of Nazi Surrender
in "Stars and Stripes"
US Army Photo
The British government issued guidelines for celebrations which included...
"Bonfires will be allowed, but the government trusts that only material with no salvage value will be used."
Prime Minister Winston Churchill, speaking on the BBC from 10 Downing Street said...
"(We) may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing. Advance Britannia. Long live the cause of freedom. God Save the King!"**
**While the European war had ended, the war in Asia against the Japanese Empire was still to be won.
Large crowds gathered in TRAFALGAR SQUARE and at BUCKINGHAM PALACE where King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and Winston Churchill appeared together on the balcony.
The King was wearing his ROYAL NAVY uniform and later spoke to the nation as the Palace was illuminated by floodlights for the 1st time since the BLACKOUT started in 1939.
Churchill gives "V" for Victory Sign
May 8, 1945
In CANADA, a parade was held on Ottawa's Parliament Hill.
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