U.S. Victory Day is a state holiday observed annually on the second Monday in August in Rhode Island and this year, it falls on August 14. The day commemorates the conclusion of World War II when an official announcement of Japan’s unconditional surrender to the Allies was made public. Rhode Island is the only state that observes the holiday, and there have been debates concerning this holiday, with many attempts to change the holiday’s name. But, it remains U.S. Victory Day and is observed, probably because the holiday was never meant to be any other than commemorating the end of the war.
History of US Victory Day
U.S. Victory Day was first observed in the state of Rhode Island on August 14, 1948. Since 1966, the day has been observed on the second Monday in August. It is said that Rhode Island and Arkansas were the only two states that observed the holiday. In 1975, Arkansas stopped observing U.S. Victory Day, changing its name to World War II Memorial Day. Although there have been debates concerning this holiday, it remains observed in Rhode Island. The continuation of the holiday is also because of the high number of veterans who retired to the state.
In the mid-1980s, with Japan’s economic might growing, there was reportedly a lively debate about whether U.S. Victory Day should be removed or not. While Japanese officials stated that the holiday was harming trade between the two nations, a local Chamber of Commerce official called it “embarrassing.” But, the state of Rhode Island had its defense. In 1990, Rhode Island General Assembly passed a resolution stating that “Victory Day is not a day to express satisfaction in the destruction and death caused by nuclear bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”
Despite the controversies, it is believed that such a holiday is needed in remembrance of the sacrifices that veterans made, especially those who were taken as prisoners of war. Veteran groups and their supporters observe the holiday, and events may include a commemorative ceremony for veterans. Since it is a state holiday, state and local government offices are closed in Rhode Island. Most banks are closed, but federal offices, including the United States Postal Service, are open. Public transportation may operate on different schedules than usual.
US Victory Day timeline
U.S. Victory Day is first observed in the state of Rhode Island.
U.S. Victory Day starts to be observed on the second Monday in August.
Arkansas stops celebrating U.S. Victory Day, making it World War II Memorial Day.
Rhode Island General Assembly passes a resolution stating that “Victory Day is not a day to express satisfaction in the destruction and death caused by nuclear bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”
US Victory Day FAQs
What is the meaning of Victory Day?
Victory Day is said to be a name of different public holidays in various countries to commemorate victories in significant battles or wars in the history of these countries.
Do Americans celebrate Victory in Europe Day?
The United States and Great Britain commemorated Victory in Europe Day on May 8, 1945.
Has the U.S. ever surrendered a war?
Major General Edward P. King Jr. surrendered at Bataan, Philippines, on April 9, 1942.
How to Observe US Victory Day
Find out more about the holiday
Due to its controversies, U.S. Victory Day is still observed annually in the state of Rhode Island. You may want to find out more about why it’s worth observing.
Visit a veteran
It is said that a high number of veterans retired to the state. If you know a veteran who served during World War II, pay a visit and give thanks for their services. Besides, ask what he or she thinks about the controversies on U.S. Victory Day.
Hold an event
If possible, join forces with your community to hold an event to observe U.S. Victory Day. Invite World War II veterans so that they can gather together and share stories.
5 Facts About Rhode Island You Need To Know
It’s the smallest U.S. state
Rhode Island is the smallest U.S. state by area of 1,214 square miles.
It is the Ocean State
Rhode Island is nicknamed the Ocean State, having more than 400 miles of coastline.
Coffee milk is its official state drink
Coffee milk was so popular in Rhode Island, making it the official state drink.
The U.S.’s oldest operating restaurant is there
The White Horse Tavern is the oldest operating restaurant in the United States, located in Newport, Rhode Island.
Its state bird is Rhode Island Red
Rhode Island Red is an American breed of domestic chicken, the state bird of Rhode Island.
Why US Victory Day is Important
War should always be avoided. U.S. Victory Day is observed as a commemoration of the end of World War II and in remembrance of the sacrifices of the veterans.
As a reminder of peace
War results in nothing but destruction. Observing U.S. Victory Day is not just a commemoration of victory, but is also a reminder that peace will always need to be maintained.
It’s worth observing
U.S. Victory Day in Rhode Island remains observed despite its controversies. It’s because this holiday is just a day when people, especially veterans, want to commemorate the end of the horrors of war.
US Victory Day dates