Topic

75th Anniversary of the End of World War II

Explore articles, events, programs, and more from the Museum for the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.

75th Anniversary of the End of World War II

Seventy-five years later, The National WWII Museum will pay tribute to the historic anniversaries, as well as the myriad servicemembers and Home Front workers who helped preserve freedom and democracy. Through a number of events throughout the year—including Educational Travel tours taking place throughout Europe and the Pacific, distance-learning programs that will broadcast live from the Museum’s new Hall of Democracy, conferences and symposia examining the war’s lasting impact on the world, and a special exhibit that will travel to institutions across the nation—the Museum will reflect on the legacy and meaning of the end of World War II.

Overview

On May 8, 1945, World War II in Europe came to an end. As the news of Germany’s surrender reached the rest of the world, joyous crowds gathered to celebrate in the streets, clutching newspapers that declared Victory in Europe (V-E Day). Later that year, US President Harry S. Truman announced Japan’s surrender and the end of World War II. The news spread quickly and celebrations erupted across the United States. On September 2, 1945, formal surrender documents were signed aboard the USS Missouri, designating the day as the official Victory over Japan Day (V-J Day).

V-J Day was especially momentous—the gruesome and exhausting war was officially over—but the day was also bittersweet for the many Americans whose loved ones would not be returning home. “More than 400,000 Americans gave their lives to secure our nation’s freedom, and in the midst of exultation, there was recognition that the true meaning of the day was best represented by those who were not present to celebrate,” said Robert Citino, PhD, Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of War and Democracy at The National WWII Museum.

Seventy-five years later, The National WWII Museum will pay tribute to the historic anniversaries, as well as the myriad servicemembers and Home Front workers who helped preserve freedom and democracy. Through a number of events throughout the year—including Educational Travel tours taking place throughout Europe and the Pacific, distance-learning programs that will broadcast live from the Museum’s new Hall of Democracy, conferences and symposia examining the war’s lasting impact on the world, and a special exhibit that will travel to institutions across the nation—the Museum will reflect on the legacy and meaning of the end of World War II.

See below for a list of The National WWII Museum’s 2020 commemorative initiatives:

January 27, 2020:

Relive an evening of remembrance and reflection with Holocaust survivor Martin Baranek, author of Determined: A Memoir.

January 31, 2020: 

The Museum’s traveling exhibit So Ready for Laughter: The Legacy of Bob Hope launches a national tour at the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, Ohio. So Ready for Laughter tells the story of Hope’s unique place in the history of World War II and beyond, and the contributions he made that still reverberate 75 years later.

February 4, 2020:  

The Manhattan Project Electronic Field Trip, produced by the Museum’s WWII Media and Education Center, took students nationwide on a virtual, interactive journey to discover the science, sites, and stories of the Manhattan Project and the creation of the atomic bomb, which ultimately brought about the end of the war.

February 8, 2020:

Museum symposium Yalta at 75: From World War to Cold War featured leading scholars in a daylong discussion about the Yalta Conference—a series of extended strategy sessions between Soviet Union Dictator Josef Stalin, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The symposium will examine this crucial moment of World War II in detail: the days leading to the conference, the proceedings themselves and the legacies of Yalta for the postwar world, for the Cold War and for today.

February 19, 2020:

The 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima Commemoration Ceremony took place in the Museum’s US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center. The short ceremony featured the US Marine Corps Band Quintet and US Marine Corps Color Guard, as well as a special guest speaker.

March 20-30, 2020:

The Museum is honored to offer the Victory in the Pacific Travel program, which provides guests with the unique opportunity to explore Pacific island battlefields and landing beaches in the company of expert historians and WWII veterans. From March 20 through March 30, Victory in the Pacific journeys from Pearl Harbor—where it all started for the Americans—to the islands of Saipan, Guam, Iwo Jima, and Tinian, from where the Enola Gay departed to drop the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

May 2020:

May 8, 2020, marks the 75th anniversary of V-E Day. The Museum will commemorate the milestone anniversary by hosting a series of public events at its campus in New Orleans including a guest speaker, as well as five Educational Travel programs throughout Europe, including England, France, and Germany. So Ready for Laughter will also open at the New-York Historical Society. Working with the Gary Sinise Foundation’s Soaring Valor program, many veterans will be able to attend the V-E Day and V-J Day commemorative ceremonies at the Museum.

May 1-8, 2020:

A Masters of the Air tour will take place from May 1-8, 2020 with an optional V-E Day London Post-Tour lasting until May 11. A pre-tour for Easy Company will place those guests in London on May 8. Expected events from May 8-11 include a special V-E Day Concert, a parade from Westminster Abbey to Horse Guards Parade, and a Service of Remembrance that will coincide with Churchill’s broadcast to the nation on May 8, 1945. In addition to the commemorative events, the tour will visit several iconic sites in London.

September 2020: 

On September 2, 2020, the Museum will commemorate the 75th anniversary of V-J Day with a number of celebratory events in New Orleans, including a panel discussion featuring WWII veterans, as well as a featured presentation by Clifton Truman Daniel, the oldest grandson of former US President Harry Truman.

September 10-12, 2020:

The Museum’s global conference Memory Wars: World War II at 75 will explore the war’s place in public memory through a global prism, examining how museums, filmmakers, media, memorials, and historians (both academic and public) help shape memories of the conflict.

November 2020: 

The Museum’s year of commemorative events will culminate with a celebration in New Orleans featuring 40 WWII veterans and 40 students who will visit the Museum as part of Gary Sinise Foundation’s Soaring Valor program. Museum staff will host the group along with an annual Veterans Day public programming event and Victory Ball, a lavish reception that salutes the men and women who dedicate their lives to freedom.

Commemoration Events at the Museum

January 27, 2020

Relive an evening of remembrance and reflection with Holocaust survivor Martin Baranek, author of Determined: A Memoir.

January 31, 2020

The Museum’s traveling exhibit So Ready for Laughter: The Legacy of Bob Hope launched a national tour at the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, Ohio. So Ready for Laughter tells the story of Hope’s unique place in the history of World War II and beyond, and the contributions he made that still reverberate 75 years later.

February 4, 2020

The Manhattan Project Electronic Field Trip, produced by the Museum’s WWII Media and Education Center, took students nationwide on a virtual, interactive journey to discover the science, sites, and stories of the Manhattan Project and the creation of the atomic bomb, which ultimately brought about the end of the war.

February 8, 2020

Museum symposium Yalta at 75: From World War to Cold War featured leading scholars in a daylong discussion about the Yalta Conference—a series of extended strategy sessions between Soviet Union Dictator Josef Stalin, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The symposium will examine this crucial moment of World War II in detail: the days leading to the conference, the proceedings themselves and the legacies of Yalta for the postwar world, for the Cold War and for today.

February 19, 2020

The 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima Commemoration Ceremony took place in the Museum’s US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center. The short ceremony featured the US Marine Corps Band Quintet and US Marine Corps Color Guard, as well as a special guest speaker.

March 20-30, 2020

The Museum is honored to offer the Victory in the Pacific Travel program, which provides guests with the unique opportunity to explore Pacific island battlefields and landing beaches in the company of expert historians and WWII veterans. From March 20 through March 30, Victory in the Pacific journeys from Pearl Harbor—where it all started for the Americans—to the islands of Saipan, Guam, Iwo Jima, and Tinian, from where the Enola Gay departed to drop the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

May 2020

May 8, 2020, marks the 75th anniversary of V-E Day. The Museum will commemorate the milestone anniversary by hosting a series of public events at its campus in New Orleans including a guest speaker, as well as five Educational Travel programs throughout Europe, including England, France, and Germany. So Ready for Laughter will also open at the New-York Historical Society. Working with the Gary Sinise Foundation’s Soaring Valor program, many veterans will be able to attend the V-E Day and V-J Day commemorative ceremonies at the Museum.

May 1-8, 2020

A Masters of the Air tour will take place from May 1-8, 2020 with an optional V-E Day London Post-Tour lasting until May 11. A pre-tour for Easy Company will place those guests in London on May 8. Expected events from May 8-11 include a special V-E Day Concert, a parade from Westminster Abbey to Horse Guards Parade, and a Service of Remembrance that will coincide with Churchill’s broadcast to the nation on May 8, 1945. In addition to the commemorative events, the tour will visit several iconic sites in London.

September 2020

On September 2, 2020, the Museum will commemorate the 75th anniversary of V-J Day with a number of celebratory events in New Orleans, including a panel discussion featuring WWII veterans, as well as a featured presentation by Clifton Truman Daniel, the oldest grandson of former US President Harry Truman.

September 10-12, 2020

The Museum’s global conference Memory Wars: World War II at 75 will explore the war’s place in public memory through a global prism, examining how museums, filmmakers, media, memorials, and historians (both academic and public) help shape memories of the conflict.

November 2020

The Museum’s year of commemorative events will culminate with a celebration in New Orleans featuring 40 WWII veterans and 40 students who will visit the Museum as part of Gary Sinise Foundation’s Soaring Valor program. Museum staff will host the group along with an annual Veterans Day public programming event and Victory Ball, a lavish reception that salutes the men and women who dedicate their lives to freedom.

Thumbnail

Calling All WWII Veterans!

We invite all WWII veterans and their family members to join us for programming to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. RSVP here!

Signup

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to purchase tickets to the Museum to attend the commemorative events for the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II?

Commemorative events are free and open to the public. However, if you would like to tour our exhibits during your visit, you will need to purchase a Museum Campus Pass. The 4D interactive experience Beyond All Boundaries and Final Mission: USS Tang Submarine Experience require additional tickets. Museum Campus Passes and tickets for those attractions can be purchased online in advance or on-site.

I need to purchase tickets in advance. Where can I do so?

Tickets can be purchased in advance here.

I’m traveling with a WWII veteran and am interested in learning more about your oral-history program.

Click here for more information about our oral-history program.

I’m a member of the media and would like to film the commemorative events during the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. Who do I contact?

Click here for media resources and contact information.

What is the schedule of the commemorative programming for 75th anniversary of the end of World War II?
What other things are happening at the Museum during the year of the commemoration?
I’d like to visit the Museum over multiple dates. Are there suggested itineraries for longer visits?

For more information about visiting the Museum, visit this page on our website, which contains several suggested itineraries.

I am unable to attend the commemorative events. Can I watch them online?

Yes, the panels and ceremonies planned for the events will stream live for no charge and be archived at Livestream.com/nww2m as well as on the Museum’s Facebook page (@WWIIMuseum).

I will need a wheelchair. Does the Museum provide those?

The Museum provides push wheelchairs at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis. We are expecting a large number of visitors during the year of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. Please plan accordingly.

Related Content


Content type
Displaying 13 - 16 of 16 results