On This Day, Aug. 14, 1945 – After Delay for Diplomacy, Truman announces the End of WWII


1945 – It was announced by President Harry Truman that Japan had surrendered unconditionally. The surrender ended World War II.

It was announced on this day that Japan today unconditionally surrendered the hemispheric empire taken by force and held almost intact for more than two years against the rising power of the United States and its Allies in the Pacific war.

Like the previous items in the surrender correspondence, today’s Japanese document was forwarded through the Swiss Foreign Office at Berne and the Swiss Legation in Washington. The note of total capitulation was delivered to the State Department by the Legation Charge d’Affaires at 6:10 P. M., after the third and most anxious day of waiting on Tokyo, the anxiety intensified by several premature or false reports of the finale of World War II

The Department responded with a note to Tokyo through the same channel, ordering the immediate end of hostilities by the Japanese, requiring that the Supreme Allied Commander (Gen. Douglas MacArthur) be notified of the date and hour of the order, and instructing that emissaries of Japan be sent to him at once – at the time and place selected by him – “with full information of the disposition of the Japanese forces and commanders.”

President Truman summoned a special press conference in the Executive offices at 7 P.M. He handed to the reporters three texts.

The first – the only one he read aloud – was that he had received the Japanese note and deemed it full acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration, containing no qualification whatsoever; that arrangements for the formal signing of the peace would be made for the “earliest possible moment.”


1248 – The rebuilding of the Cologne Cathedral in Cologne, Germany, began after being destroyed by fire.

1805 – A peace treaty between the U.S. and Tunis was signed on board the USS Constitution.

1848 – The Oregon Territory was established.

1880 – The Cologne Cathedral in Cologne, Germany was completed after 632 years of rebuilding.

1888 – A patent for the electric meter was granted to Oliver B. Shallenberger.

1896 – Gold was discovered in Canada’s Yukon Territory. Within the next year more than 30,000 people rushed to the area to look for gold.

1900 – An international force, consisting of eight nations, lifted the siege of Peking. It was the end to the Boxer Rebellion, which was aimed at purging China of foreigners.

1935President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law. The act created unemployment insurance and pension plans for the elderly.

1941Congress appropriated the funds to construct the Pentagon (approximately $83 million). The building was the new home of the War Department.

1941President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill issued the Atlantic Charter. The charter was a statement of principles that renounced aggression.

1944 – The federal government allowed the manufacture of certain domestic appliances to resume on a limited basis.

1947 – Pakistan became independent from British rule.

1959 – The first meeting was held to organize the American Football League.

1969 – British troops arrived in Northern Ireland to intervene in sectarian violence between Protestants and Roman Catholics.

1973 – The U.S. bombing of Cambodia ended. The halt marked the official end to 12 years of combat in Indochina by the U.S.

1976 – A charity softball game began for the Community General Hospital in Monticello, NY. The game was eventually called off due to weather after 30 hours. The final score was Gager’s Diner’s 491 to Bend ‘n Elbow Tavern’s 467.

1980 – People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was incorporated.

1987 – Mark McGwire set the record for major league home runs by a rookie when he connected for his 49th home run of the season.

1995 – Shannon Faulkner became the first female cadet in the history of The Citadel, South Carolina‘s state military college. She quit the school less than a week later.

1998 – A U.S. federal appeals court in Richmond, VA, ruled that the Food and Drug Administration had no authority to regulate tobacco. The FDA had established rules to make it harder for minors to buy cigarettes.


Source: On-This-Day.com; NYTimes.com