Thursday, May 8, 2014



London, Moscow, New York, Ottawa, Paris and cities around the world (JFK+50)  The war in Europe came to an end 69 years ago today, May 8, 1945, as the Allies celebrated the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany.

The instrument of surrender was 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.

                       Nazi Surrender
                        Reims, France
                          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"
                          May 1945
                    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
                London, England
                     May 8, 1945

In CANADA, a parade was held on Ottawa's Parliament Hill.


                      You Tube Video