It's Over- page 40 | 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

My brother (18) and I (13) had train tickets to go from our home in central Nebraska to visit our grandmother in Minneapolis. We left in the morning for Omaha and on the way heard that the Japanese had surrendered!

We arrived in Omaha, where we were to change trains at 5 pm. We had three hours to get to another terminal to go to Minneapolis. We had planned to take a taxi as it was about a mile away, but when we got out of the station, we found utter pandemonium. Thousands of people were celebrating in the streets. No car traffic could move, as the streets were full of people, so we had to walk with our suitcases.

It was quite a struggle, but we finally made it and boarded the train to Minneapolis. You can imagine that two farm boys had very big eyes as they observed all that was going on.

I think the whole country was celebrating on that day, realizing that terrible war was finally over. A celebration like that has not been seen since.

Vernon T. Reinertson
Ravenna, NE





Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus