Share and Share Alike. We like Shares!


Today in History: May 8, 1945 – VE DAY

“General Eisenhower informs me that the forces of Germany have surrendered to the United Nations. The flags of freedom fly over all Europe. For this victory, we join in offering our thanks to the Providence which has guided and sustained us through the dark days of adversity. Our rejoicing is sobered and subdued by a supreme consciousness of the terrible price we have paid to rid the world of Hitler and his evil band. Let us not forget, my fellow Americans, the sorrow and the heartache which today abide in the homes of so many of our neighbors — neighbors whose most priceless possession has been rendered as a sacrifice to redeem our liberty.”

The war that had lasted for five years and eight months had finally drawn to a close and people celebrated in the streets. President Harry S. Truman announced the victory and appointed Sunday, May 13—Mother’s Day—as day of prayer and thanksgiving. Meanwhile, Churchill gave an impromptu speech on the balcony of the Ministry of Health, telling the crowds, ‘This is your victory!’ However, their day of victory was somewhat overshadowed by the fact that the war with Japan was still going strong.


Listen: Truman’s VE-Day Address

Share and Share Alike. We like Shares!
Share and Share Alike. We like Shares!

Today in History: October 24, 1951 – Truman Officially Ends War with Germany

Six years after VE-Day (Victory over Europe) on May 8, 1945, President Truman signed  Proclamation 2950, declaring that war with Germany was officially over.

“Most Americans assumed that the war with Germany had ended with the cessation of hostilities six years earlier” (Source). Same is true today. However, it is interesting to note that at the end of the war, a treaty hadn’t even been signed! Complications prevented it, namely the territory that Germany had been taking over since 1938 (although, it is a bit surprising that he waited a whole 5 years before invading).

Although, in this case it had more to do with how Germany was divided, split between the British, Americans, French, and Soviets. Essentially, this meant that it was actually divided between the democratic Allies and the communist Soviets. What resulted was a bit of tension. Each side claimed the other had violated post-war treaties. Tensions rose.

Finally, in 1948, Stalin ordered a blockade of Berlin, despite the fact that the other Allies still controlled the Western half.

As a result, Truman was forced to order an airlift to fly much-needed supplies into Berlin, such as food and fuel. While tensions were being worked out, the treaty was put on hold. Tensions only grew worse on October 3, 1951, when Stalin began an atomic weapons test.

But, on October 24, 1951, almost 10 years after the declaration of war with Germany, Truman announced that war was over.

Share and Share Alike. We like Shares!