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VJ Day celebrations

Context

The war ended in Europe on 7 May 1945 but ferocious fighting continued in the Pacific between the Allies and Japan.

Key to the Japanese surrender was the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima (6 August) and Nagasaki (9 August).

The Allies celebrated victory over Japan on 15 August 1945, although a signed document did not follow until 2 September.

VJ Day - 'Victory over Japan' - led to further spontaneous street celebrations to mark the end of six years of war.

BBC reporter Wynford Vaughan-Thomas was in Piccadilly Circus in London to witness the celebrations on 15 August 1945 which lasted late into the night, with bonfires, dancing and fireworks...

Transcript

We're back now in Piccadilly Circus...into a Piccadilly Circus which now...although it's after midnight here in London, is crowded like it's never been crowded before. There's literally now not a single place where you can get anybody else in. In fact, the trouble is to get people out, because the fireworks are exploding in all directions...bonfires have been lighted...people are dancing on the rooftops...they're climbing up the sky signs opposite me...one sailor climbed the whole way up and down again to the terrific excitement of the crowd...and as for the noise...well, listen for yourselves!

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Notes to support the programmes including details of all the series content.