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.