Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Victory in Europe Day
On that date, massive celebrations took place, notably in London, where over a million people celebrated in a carnival atmosphere the end of the European war, though rationing of food and clothing was to continue for a number of years. In London crowds massed in particular in Trafalgar Square and up the Mall to Buckingham Palace, where King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, accompanied by the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, appeared on the balcony of the Palace to cheering crowds. Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth II) and her sister, Princess Margaret were allowed to wander anonymously among the crowds and take part in the celebrations in London.
In the United States, President Harry Truman, who celebrated his 61st birthday that day, dedicated the victory to the memory of his predecessor, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died less than a month earlier, on April 12, because he was committed towards ending the war.
The Allies had agreed to mark May 9, 1945 as V-E day, but western journalists broke the news of Germany's surrender prematurely, precipitating the earlier celebration. The Soviet Union kept to the agreed date, and Russia and other countries still commemorate the end of the Second World War, known as the Great Patriotic War in Russia and other parts of the erstwhile Soviet Union, as Victory Day on May 9.
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