In Whitehall, an RAF officer and two members of the Women's Royal Air Force and a civilian celebrate on VE Day 1945.
From the BBC:
1945: Rejoicing at end of war in Europe
The Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, has officially announced the end of the war with Germany.
In a message broadcast to the nation from the Cabinet room at Number 10, he said the ceasefire had been signed at 0241 yesterday at the American advance headquarters in Rheims.
Huge crowds, many dressed in red, white and blue, gathered outside Buckingham Palace in London and were cheered as the King, Queen and two Princesses came out onto the balcony.
Earlier tens of thousands of people had listened intently as the King's speech was relayed by loudspeaker to those who had gathered in Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square.
In it he paid tribute to the men and women who had laid down their lives for victory as well as to all those who had "fought valiantly" on land, sea and in the air...
Much more, with some great links, here.
From The Telegraph:
VE Day: 8th May 1945 as it would have happenedMuch more and great pictures here.
We relive the first VE Day celebrations on 8th May 1945, updating you on events as they unfolded on that historic day
13:00Reports are coming in of a shortage of flags across this now bedecked nation, with some enterprising salesmen cashing in.
A retired guardsman reports that he just went out to buy Allied flags to decorate his house but was only offered a Union flag the size of a handkerchief for six shillings. A larger one was £5 and a Russian flag was £2 10s. He did not dare ask the price of the Stars and Stripes.
But the mood remains buoyant. In Barker’s department store in Kensington one woman says: “I’ve been in so many different queues since the war, it’ll be a change to join a flag queue.”...
Meanwhile, in Canada:
VE Day celebrations in Toronto, Ont., May 1945.Photo : National Film Board
On April 30, 1945, Hitler committed suicide.
On May 5, German forces in North-West Europe surrendered. Victory in Europe, or VE, Day was officially celebrated three days later.
In Germany, where the Canadian Army fought right to the last day, soldiers were too relieved to celebrate very much. In Paris and London, Canadians joined people in the streets in an outpouring of emotion. In Toronto, thousands danced in the streets while three Mosquito aircraft dropped tickertape overhead.
Most Canadian cities and towns held religious services of thanksgiving. Frustrations built up after years of wartime controls and rationing led to riots and looting in some places, but nowhere else on the scale of those in Halifax ( see The Halifax VE Day Riots ).
The war was not yet over - the war with Japan was still underway - but the major threat of Nazi Germany had ended....
That's from the Canadian War Museum where there are some great archival links.
"A Good Day"Check out the Canadian Encyclopedia for much more.
Mackenzie King, who was in San Francisco on 7 May attending the founding conference of the United Nations, wrote in his diary: "This has been a good day — a happy day [...] one in which the burden has been greatly lightened from the knowledge that Nazi militarism has, at last, been destroyed."
In a radio address the next day, Mackenzie King told Canadians, "You have helped to rid the world of a great scourge." The celebrating started across North America on 7 May, but subsided when people learned it had not been confirmed. When confirmation did come at 9 a.m. EDT on 8 May, celebrations resumed, in many places even more fervently than the day before.
Among the first Canadians to celebrate were the sailors on naval and merchant ships on the Atlantic, and soldiers and airmen based in Europe. Their long ordeal would soon be coming to an end, although many would still be tasked with providing security to occupied Germany, and bringing aid to the Netherlands, where the Dutch were desperate for emergency food and medical supplies distributed by Canadian forces. Across the Netherlands, Canadians were cheered and welcomed as heroes.....
From the US today, via Military Times, to mark this day in history:
U.S. Capitol flyover marks 70th anniversary of V-E Day
During the Second World War within just 6 years — the US military progressed from hand-built wooden biplanes, to powerful jet engines to ballistic missiles and the atomic bomb.
More than 40 vintage aircraft of World War II will fill the skies over the nation's capital Friday in tribute to the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (V-E) Day.
Fifteen flying formations will form up near Leesburg, Virginia, and follow the Potomac River southeast toward Washington.
But unlike the usual "river run" of modern commercial flights into Reagan National Airport, the venerable war birds will bank over the Lincoln Memorial, overflying the National World War II Memorial, head east past the Washington Monument along Independence Avenue, turning south as they pass over the National Air and Space Museum near the Capitol. The first formation is expected to fly just 1,000 feet over the Lincoln Memorial at about 12:10 p.m....
Much more, with a very cool video here.
Previous VE Day columns here:
May 8, 1945: "This is your Victory"
VE Day 1945: "Long live the cause of Victory"
"Gave their tomorrows for our today. Don't let their memory fade. We WILL remember them..."