Victory Day in Rhode Island in 2024

Victory Day in Rhode Island in 2024
  How long until Victory Day?
Victory Day
  Dates of Victory Day in Rhode Island
2025 Mon, Aug 11Government Holiday
2024 Mon, Aug 12Government Holiday
2023 Mon, Aug 14Government Holiday
2022 Mon, Aug 8Government Holiday
2021 Mon, Aug 9Government Holiday

Marks victory over Japan on August 15th 1945. State and local government offices are closed. Federal offices remain open.

When is Victory Day?

Victory Day is a state holiday in Rhode Island, observed on the second Monday in August.

It commemorates the end of second world war when Japan's surrender was announced on August 14th 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 August 15th 1945, though due to time differences it was received when it was still August 14th in the US. The official surrender ceremony took place on September 2nd 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.

In 1990, the state General Assembly sought to clarify the meaning of the holiday and passed a resolution affirming that, though the holiday would continue, it was "not a day to express satisfaction in the destruction and death caused by nuclear bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki."

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 May 8th 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 May 9th.

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, including U.S. Postal Mail Service, remain open. Public transport may operate on a different schedule.

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