52 week's of Marie's Life

52 weeks captured through photos

22. It’s a Mystery (Week 40)


“It’s amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.” — President Harry S. Truman


This statue on the Sarasota Bayfront, named “Unconditional Surrender”,  was inspired by the photograph that Albert Eisenstaedt took in Times Square in New York City  of this spontaneous kiss when President Harry S Truman announced the end of the war on Japan.  Eisenstaedt was walking through the crowds on Times Square looking for pictures when he saw a sailor kissing every lady he could find – young and old alike.  As he put his arms around a nurse, Eisenstaedt snapped a picture.  Media photographers encouraged service personnel to pose in kissing pictures during the war, but Eisenstaedt was caught up photographing rapidly changing events as throngs of people crowded into the square and never had a chance to get the name of the American sailor kissing a woman in a white dress.  This photo was published a week later in Life magazine, as a full page, opposite another page of three other kissing poses in Washington D.C., Kansas City, and Miami.

The photograph has been known as V-J Day in Times Square, V-Day, and The Kiss.  The identity of the kissers has not been determined.  Many have come forward and claimed to be the nurse or the sailor with supporting evidence, but it remains a mystery today.




5 thoughts on “22. It’s a Mystery (Week 40)

  1. I love this statue. It makes me think about so many different things when I see it. I’m thrilled that it’s by the bay and I get to see it frequently. It was a sad time when it was off for repairs, I hope it never has to leave us again.

  2. I had forgotten the pair had never been identified. The park along the waterfront would look so empty if it wasn’t there!

  3. One of my favourite photographs. Great idea that someone made it into a statue. Great capture.

  4. I thought they finally identified them last year. Oh well, what do I know. Nice images

  5. Love that statue. I have seen it numerous times when in Sarasota. Up until two years ago, my parents lived just down the interstate in Venice. We would visit Sarasota frequently (mom loved the shopping). Following your blog will bring back many memories.

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