Syracuse Erupts in Celebration as World War II Informally Ends

Victory over Japan Celebrations Ending World War II

71 years ago, on August 14th, 1945, The United States celebrated the informal end to World War II as it was announced Japan had surrendered. Official surrender would come less than a month later, as Japanese representatives aboard the USS Missouri signed final surrender documents.

In Syracuse, police blocked off traffic as impromptu celebrations popped up all over the city, most notably on Salina Street. Cars and pedestrians clogged up the road between Jefferson and Madison. According to a Post-Standard article, the Mayor of Syracuse at the time, Edward Kennedy, declared August 15th a Civic Holiday “to observe a return to peace.” The Post-Standard reported “Syracusans grasped wildly at every means of noise-making the moment the surrender signal was given last night as tumultuous cries of auto horns, whistles, the human voice, and the tattoo of pots and pans trained to express the joyful impact of the best news in three and a half years.”

Post Standard, August 15, 1945