Wednesday, September 02, 2015

This Week in History: At Wars End

The first week in September is a seemingly popular week to end wars as the signing of the Treaty of Paris (1783) which marked the end of the Revolutionary War occurred on September the 3rd and on September the 2nd, 1945 the Japanese formally surrendered aboard the USS Missouri marking the end of WWII. We have a love for all things history, especially when it pertains to the military so here are a few things you might not have known about the two events.

Benjamin West's Unfinished Painting
Treaty of Paris (1783):
  1. At the start of negotiates between the United States and Great Britain, 2 of the representatives chosen by the U.S. weren’t able to participate in the negotiations; Thomas Jefferson hadn’t left the U.S. early enough and Henry Laurens was being held prisoner in the Tower of London until the wars end.
  2. Benjamin Franklin initially wanted the Province of Quebec to be part of the United States in the hopes that the U.S. would encompass all of North America but that proposal was promptly dismissed.
  3. Benjamin West was tasked with painting the delegates present during the Treaty of Paris but the British delegation refused to sit for the painting and so it was never completed, picturing only the American delegation.
V-J Day:
  1. The formal surrender from the Japanese, marked as V-J Day, was the second V-Day, or Victory Day, of the war. V-E Day, marking the Allies victory in Europe was on May the 8th of that year.
  2. V-J Day was actually celebrated twice, on August 15th when Japan surrendered to the United Nations and on September 2nd when they formally surrendered. The famous image of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square occurred on the first V-J Day.
  3. WWII actually started the same week it officially ended; it began September 1st, 1939 and ended 6 years and 1 day later.

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