Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day)

V-E Day newspaper front page (Boston Daily Globe, via Newspapers.com)

V-E Day newspaper front page (Boston Daily Globe, via Newspapers.com)

Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day, May 8 or May 9, 1945) marked Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender during World War II and the end of the war in Europe

War in Europe Ends

News of the end of the war in Europe had been expected for some time, and after Hitler’s suicide at the end of April 1945 the Allies knew German surrender was at hand. The Allies began meeting with Germany’s leaders to discuss its capitulation on May 4, and the surrender documents were signed on May 7. 

News of the surrender began breaking that same day, and exultant crowds poured into the streets across Allied nations. However, official celebrations were postponed until the following day, May 8 (and in some cases May 9). 

V-E Day Celebrations

In the United States, V-E Day was marked by a 9 a.m. speech by President Harry Truman, in which he reminded Americans that there was still more fighting ahead and set aside the following Sunday as a day of prayer. Celebrations were held throughout the country, most famously in New York City’s Times Square.

In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Winston Churchill gave a speech at 3 p.m., and crowds gathered at Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, and elsewhere. The royal family made multiple appearances on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to greet their cheering subjects. 

In Canada, the day was marred by riots and looting in Halifax, Nova Scotia, spurred by the closing of pubs and liquor stores on V-E Day. Australia’s celebrations tended to be more somber, since the war in the Pacific was a bigger concern for many Australians. In New Zealand, leaders decided to postpone official celebrations until Churchill made his official announcement from London, so New Zealanders celebrated on May 9 due to the time difference. Russia also announced the victory on May 9, per Stalin’s wishes. 

Other Reactions

Despite celebrations, the excitement of V-E Day was tempered by memories of loved ones who had been killed in the war and by worry for those still serving overseas. The day was also marked by the sobering reminder that World War II was not yet over, as the fight in the Pacific was still raging. The war would not end until September 1945, with the surrender of Japan.

Learn more about Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day) through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.


Articles and Clippings about Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day)

Iowa newspaper headline: Iowa newspaper headline: "European War Ends; AP Announces Surrender" Mon, May 7, 1945 – 1 · Globe-Gazette (Mason City, Iowa) · Newspapers.comMichigan newspaper front page: Michigan newspaper front page: "Victory; Germany Surrenders!; Truman Agrees to Delay V-E Day Word" Mon, May 7, 1945 – 1 · The News-Palladium (Benton Harbor, Michigan) · Newspapers.comIllinois newspaper headline: Illinois newspaper headline: "V-E Day Announcement by Truman Is Postponed" Mon, May 7, 1945 – 1 · The Dispatch (Moline, Illinois) · Newspapers.comMay 7 Australian newspaper reports May 7 Australian newspaper reports "VE-Day News Expected at Any Moment" Mon, May 7, 1945 – Page 1 · The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) · Newspapers.comArticle discusses British plans for announcement of the German surrender during World War IIArticle discusses British plans for announcement of the German surrender during World War II Mon, May 7, 1945 – 5 · The Guardian (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comPhoto of the crowd in New York City's Times Square celebrating victory in Europe on May 7, 1945Photo of the crowd in New York City's Times Square celebrating victory in Europe on May 7, 1945 Mon, May 7, 1945 – Page 1 · The Decatur Daily Review (Decatur, Illinois) · Newspapers.comPhotos from British Columbia, Canada, after May 7 victory announcementPhotos from British Columbia, Canada, after May 7 victory announcement Mon, May 7, 1945 – 1 · Times Colonist (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada) · Newspapers.comV-E Day political cartoon: V-E Day political cartoon: "Excuse Us If We Don't Join the Celebration" Mon, May 7, 1945 – Page 1 · Fort Lauderdale News (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) · Newspapers.comV-E Day political cartoon: V-E Day political cartoon: "Holding Us Down to Earth" Mon, May 7, 1945 – Page 1 · The Brownsville Herald (Brownsville, Texas) · Newspapers.com"V-E Day Should Be Spent In Quiet Reverence, Thanksgiving, Club And Civic Women Indicate" 07 May 1945, Mon The Miami News (Miami, Florida) Newspapers.comMassachusetts V-E Day newspaper front page: Massachusetts V-E Day newspaper front page: "Today V-E Day; Truman Slated to Go on Air at 9 A.M." Tue, May 8, 1945 – 1 · The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) · Newspapers.comNew Jersey V-E Day newspaper headline: New Jersey V-E Day newspaper headline: "European War Is Over!" Tue, May 8, 1945 – 1 · The Morning Call (Paterson, New Jersey) · Newspapers.comQuebec, Canada, newspaper front page from Victory in Europe Day: May 8, 1945Quebec, Canada, newspaper front page from Victory in Europe Day: May 8, 1945 Tue, May 8, 1945 – 1 · The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec, Quebec, Canada) · Newspapers.comAustralian newspaper front page from May 8, 1945: Australian newspaper front page from May 8, 1945: "Germans Proclaim Surrender" Tue, May 8, 1945 – Page 1 · The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) · Newspapers.comNews from England published on V-E Day, 1945News from England published on V-E Day, 1945 Tue, May 8, 1945 – 5 · The Guardian (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comPictures of V-E Day celebrations and observances in HawaiiPictures of V-E Day celebrations and observances in Hawaii Tue, May 8, 1945 – 1 · Honolulu Star-Bulletin (Honolulu, Hawaii) · Newspapers.comText of President Harry Truman's V-E Day speech on May 8, 1945Text of President Harry Truman's V-E Day speech on May 8, 1945 Tue, May 8, 1945 – 1 · The Tampa Times (Tampa, Florida) · Newspapers.comDescription of reactions in Salt Lake City, Utah, to news of V-E DayDescription of reactions in Salt Lake City, Utah, to news of V-E Day 08 May 1945, Tue Deseret News (Salt Lake City, Utah) Newspapers.comPhoto: Photo: "V-E Day Sees Vet Heading Back to Europe" 08 May 1945, Tue The Cincinnati Post (Cincinnati, Ohio) Newspapers.comDescriptions of V-E celebrations in London, Paris, Italy, Jerusalem, Sweden, Spain, Belgium & NorwayDescriptions of V-E celebrations in London, Paris, Italy, Jerusalem, Sweden, Spain, Belgium & Norway 08 May 1945, Tue Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) Newspapers.com"Stalin Has Not Proclaimed Europe Victory at Moscow" 08 May 1945, Tue Montpelier Evening Argus (Montpelier, Vermont) Newspapers.comNewspaper coverage summarizing government speeches and how Great Britain celebrated V-E DayNewspaper coverage summarizing government speeches and how Great Britain celebrated V-E Day Wed, May 9, 1945 – 5 · The Guardian (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comNewspaper article about the riots and looting in Halifax, Canada, on V-E DayNewspaper article about the riots and looting in Halifax, Canada, on V-E Day Wed, May 9, 1945 – 11 · The Ottawa Citizen (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) · Newspapers.comStatements of American and British leaders regarding Germany's surrenderStatements of American and British leaders regarding Germany's surrender 09 May 1945, Wed Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) Newspapers.comStudents in New Jersey react to news of the victory in EuropeStudents in New Jersey react to news of the victory in Europe 09 May 1945, Wed The Morning Call (Paterson, New Jersey) Newspapers.comDescription of the signing of the Description of the signing of the "formal ratification of unconditional surrender" in Berlin 10 May 1945, Thu The Montreal Star (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) Newspapers.comNewspaper encourages readers to buy war bonds Newspaper encourages readers to buy war bonds "as celebration" of victory in Europe 10 May 1945, Thu The Kingsburg Recorder (Kingsburg, California) Newspapers.comNew Yorkers recall their experiences on V-E Day during 50th anniversary New Yorkers recall their experiences on V-E Day during 50th anniversary 07 May 1995, Sun Newsday (Nassau Edition) (Hempstead, New York) Newspapers.comU.S. war correspondent on Okinawa contrasts V-E Day celebrations with the ongoing war in the PacificU.S. war correspondent on Okinawa contrasts V-E Day celebrations with the ongoing war in the Pacific 07 May 1995, Sun Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Arizona) Newspapers.comArticle describing the continued importance of Victory Day in Russia on 70th anniversary of V-E DayArticle describing the continued importance of Victory Day in Russia on 70th anniversary of V-E Day 10 May 2015, Sun The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California) Newspapers.com
"Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day)," Newspapers.com Topics (https://www.newspapers.com/topics/world-war2/ve-day/ : accessed June 19, 2024)