Monday, 29 August 2011

V–J day in Times Square

Author: Alfred Eisenstaedt
Picture date: August 14, 1945 
Published: Life magazine, August 1945

Picture portraits an American sailor kissing a young nurse in a white dress in Times Square. Photograph was taken on the day of Victory over Japan when Japan surrendered and World War II was definitely over. People went out on streets to celebrate the good news, happy that six year-long war finally ended.

This picture is well-known for its spontaneity and joyful moment. The contrast between black and white uniforms makes even bigger impact and emphasizes emotions. The photo became very popular overnight and is remembered as a symbol of victory. Names of the sailor and nurse unknown for many years. Photographer did not have a chance to get their names since they vanished in the crowd very soon.

On the day this picture was taken, Mr. Eisenstaedt was walking through New York streets and looking for an interesting frame to commemorate this glorious day. He saw a man grabbing and kissing many women, older and younger. He followed him and took many pictures of him kissing many ladies. But he did not have the picture until the man met the nurse. When he framed and shot, he knew: this was the picture.

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