It's Over- page 21 | History | Smithsonian
Current Issue
July / August 2014  magazine cover

Save 81% off the newsstand price!

It's Over

We asked readers to tell us where they were and how they reacted to the news that World War II had ended. And what a response we got!

Smithsonian Magazine | Subscribe

Many, varied sidelights to jubilation.

Cheering throngs, soldiers mobbed by bobby-soxers kissed by soldiers, took the spotlight in Pittsburgh's mad-cap celebration of the war's end last night.

But the glad news swept off the crowd-jammed canyons of the city into every nook and cranny of the metropolis.

Here are some of the sidelights of the Pittsburgh district's reaction to the big event:

Confetti is confetti to a teenage boy, and one lad of 11 was seen capitalizing on the paper shortage. After he sold out of the chopped bits of paper he gathered a new supply from the littered sidewalks - then sold it again.

Whistles, sirens, horns, and anything else that would make a noise was used to express the crowd's joy. But in Oakland they said it with the soft music of an organ. About 100 persons from that community gathered about an organ set up on the sidewalk to sing patriotic and military songs.

In McKeesport, crowds generally appeared as joyous as elsewhere. But not all expressed their joy in smiles and shouts. Many women, particularly older women who may have had sons in the service, were observed walking in the parading crowds-quietly crying.

Dorothy S. Dym
Washington, D.C.



Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus