Today in History: V-E Day
V-E Day (Victory in Europe) marks the end of the conflict with Hitler’s Germany in World War II when Germany surrendered.
The military surrender agreement was signed in Rheims, France on May 7, 1945 at 2:41 a.m and May 8, 1945 was declared the official day of celebration.
The surrender was signed by Colonel General Gustav Jodl, the German army’s chief of staff; Lieutenant-General Walter Bedell Smith, chief of staff for the Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower; General Ivan Susloparov for the Soviet Union; and General François Sevez for France.
Prime Minister Mackenzie King declared: “Let us rejoice in the victory for which we have waited for so long and which has been won at so great a price.”
Boisterous celebrations were held across Canada!
The war continued until V-J Day (Victory in Japan) on August 15, 1945, marking the end of the hostilities. On September 2, 1945 at 9:00 a.m., the Japanese Instrument of Surrender was signed between representatives of the Japanese Empire and the Allied forces aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. Canada’s representative at the signing was Colonel Lawrence Vincent Moore Cosgrave.
Photo: City of Toronto Archives