ABILENE–The 70th anniversary of V-J Day will be observed on the Eisenhower Presidential Library campus Saturday, August 15. On August 14, 1945, it was announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally to the Allies effectively ending World War II. Since then, both August 14 and August 15 have been known as “Victory over Japan Day,” or simply “V-J Day.”
A Big Band Concert and Dance by the 1st Infantry Division Army Band, Ft. Riley, will be presented at 7 p.m. on the steps of the Library building. Bring your dancing shoes and dress in your best 1940s attire as the band encourages dancing to their “Big Band” selections from the 1940s. The concert will include a “Big Band” arrangement of the Star Spangled Banner and a vocalist for some of the numbers.
The movie,”Unbroken,” will be shown at 3 p.m. in the Visitors Center auditorium. The movie tells the true story of Olympian and WWII Veteran Louis Zampernini. After a near-fatal plane crash in WWII, Zampernini spent a harrowing 47 days in a raft with two fellow crewmen before he was caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp. The movie is free and open to the public.
Attendees are invited to come early and visit the “WWII Remembered” exhibit in the museum. Regular admission fees and museum hours will be in effect, with the museum closing at 4:45 p.m. Rob Wasinger, Hays, World War II Cavalry re-enactor, will be on the grounds with his horse during the day.
Food vendors will open at 4 p.m., serving meals, snacks and beverages. Visitors are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets and picnic on the grounds.
A photo station will be set up for couples to recreate their own version of the famous “kiss” between an unknown sailor and a nurse celebrating the end of World War II in New York’s Times Square in 1945.