75 Years Since VE DayBritish Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965) waving to crowds gathered in Whitehall on VE Day, 8th May 1945. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
May 8 marks VE (Victory in Europe) Day. In 1945, it was the day that the Allied forces formally accepted Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender. The day was marked with celebrations around the world, including massive gatherings in London and New York City.
However, the day does not mark the formal end to World War II. Imperial Japan did not surrender until August 15, 1945, which became known as Victory in the Pacific or Victory over Japan (VJ) Day.
According to minutes from a U.K. government cabinet meeting, the phrase VE Day was selected by Winston Churchill on April 9.
Britain is marking the day with a series of events, however they’re somewhat muted compared to the original plans. As a result of the country remaining in lockdown due to COVID-19, a series of television and radio programs were run, and military fly-bys still took place.