Project Main Details
On August 14th, 1945, 750000 people crowded the streets of New York's Times Square, marking it as one of the biggest celebrations of it's time.
Not only in New York, but all across the country, people were excited about the end of a tragic time. Huge celebrations broke out across the nation in cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, Boston and Los Angeles.
In Times Square on August 14, 1945, also known as Victory Over Japan Day, the three unknown citizens came across each other's paths, creating one of the single most memorable photographs in American History... One photographer, a dental assistant and a sailor. But let's back up.
George Mendonça was a sailor during the war. His war efforts brought him back to the United States prior to the surrender of Japan, however the looming idea that if the war continued was still present with those who had returned. Mendonça was one of Those claiming to be the sailor were Donald Bonsack, John Edmonson, Wallace C. Fowler, Clarence "Bud" Harding, Walker Irving, James Kearney, Marvin Kingsburg, Arthur Leask, Jack Russell, and Bill Swicegood" but after extensive research, George Mendonsa was the final account, stating he was the one photographed.
Mendonsa, at the time of the announcement of the surrendering of Japan was watching a film at Radio City Music Hall, with his future wife Rita.
This photo was great for Life magazine - the magazine where this photo was originally published. The magazine needed something big to make it sell and this photo was the push it needed to become successful.
Through hundreds of thousands of people in one place at one time, this photograph really represents the end of a tragic era. It shows that there are new opportunities to raise morale and it marks the end of the days that people resented and the pure euphoria captured in the photograph that is forever recorded in history.
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