American servicemen and women gather in Paris to celebrate the unconditional surrender of the Japanese on 15 August 1945. by Wikimedia Commons
When is Victory Day?
How long until Victory Day?
|This holiday next takes place in 81 Days.|
|Marks victory over Japan on 15 August 1945. State and local government offices are closed. Federal offices remain open.|
Victory Day is a state holiday in Rhode Island, observed on the second Monday in August.
It commemorates the end of the World War II when Japan's surrender was announced on 14 August 1945.
History of Victory Day
Days after the US dropped atomic bombs on two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Imperial Japan surrendered bringing World War II to an end. The announcement of the surrender was made by the Japanese in the afternoon of 15 August 1945, though due to time differences it was received when it was still 14 August in the US. The official surrender ceremony took place on 2 September 1945 on the deck of the battleship USS Missouri.
In 1946, President Harry S. Truman declared 14th August as Victory Day. Victory Day was established in Rhode Island by lawmakers in the spring of 1948, three years after World War II ended, when the General Assembly passed a bill sponsored by Rep. Richard Windsor, a long-serving East Providence Republican.
Did you know?
The official name of this holiday is Victory day, though many residents still refer to it as V-J Day (Victory in Japan Day)
New York observed V-J Day a few times in the late 1940s, and in 1949, Arkansas adopted a new state holiday - "World War II Memorial Day". Arkansas dropped this holiday in 1955, leaving Rhode Island as the only state that marks the end of World War II with a legal holiday.
Rhode Island's continuation of this holiday is said to have been reinforced due to the high number of veterans who retired to the state. Indeed, residents of the state suffered a higher proportion of war deaths than nearly any other state. It is also a state with strong union representation, so once a holiday made it onto the state list it is difficult to drop it.
While Rhode Island may be the only US state to observe the end of the war, in Europe, a holiday to mark the end of World War II is commonplace. The war in Europe ended late in the evening of 8 May 1945. This means countries like France and the Czech Republic observe Victory Day on 8th May, while countries further east, particularly those who were part of the Soviet Union celebrate Victory day on 9th May.
Did you know?
Rhode Island was the first state to declare independence from Britain in 1776.
Since Victory Day is a state holiday and not a federal holiday, state and local government offices are closed. Federal offices remain open.