VE Day

Victory in Europe Day—known as V-E Day or VE Day—was the public holiday celebrated on 8 May 1945 (in Commonwealth countries, 7 May 1945) to mark the date when the World War II, when the Allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany and the end of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, thus ending the war in Europe. The formal surrender of the o7ccupying German forces in the Channel Islands was not until 9 May 1945. On 30 April Hitler committed suicide during the Battle of Berlin, and so the surrender of Germany was authorized by his successor, President of Germany Karl Dönitz. The administration headed by Dönitz was known as the Flensburg government. The act of ilitary surrender was signed on 7 May in Reims, France, and on 8 May in Berlin, Germany.

Upon the defeat of Germany (Italy having already surrendered), celebrations erupted throughout the Western world. From Moscow to New York, people cheered. In the United Kingdom, more than one million people celebrated in the streets to mark te end of the European part of the war. In London, crowds massed in Trafalgar Square and up The Mall toBuckingham Palace, where King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, accompaniedby Prime Minister Winston Churchill, appeared on the balcony of the Palace before the cheering crowds. Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth II) and her sister Princess Margaretwere allowd to wander incognito among the crowds and take part in the celebrations. the United States, the victory happened on President Harry Truman’s 61st birthday.] He dedicated the victory to the memory of his predecessor, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had died of a cerebral heamorrhage less than a month earlier, on 12 April. Flags remained at half-staff for the remainder of the 30-day mourning period.Truman said of dedicating the victory to Roosevelt’s memory and keeping the flags at half-staff that his only wish was “that Franklin D. Roosevelt had lived to witness this day. Later that day, Truman said that the victory made it his most enjoyable birthday.Massive celebrations also took place in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and especially in New York City’s Times Square. Victory celebrations in Canada were marred by the Halifax Riot.

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