“The Kissing Sailor”: A Commemoration of V-J Day, September 2, 2015

On Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015—the 70th anniversary of “V-J Day” ending World War II with the Allied victory over Japan–the Falmouth Historical Society will host a dinnerV-J Day2 and program to honor those who served in the Armed Forces during that conflict. This event, held at the Coonamessett Inn in Falmouth, begins at 6 pm that evening and will include a visit from George Mendonsa—better known as “The Kissing Sailor” immortalized in Times Square kissing a nurse when peace was finally declared. There will also be a talk by author Lawrence Verria, who identified just who “The Kissing Sailor” really was; music of the era; and a meal that would fit in with the period.

The event will include Senior Officers from the United States Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Maritime. In addition to Mr. Verria, a speech will be made by General Gordon R. Sullivan, United States Army (Retired), President of the Association of the United States Army and former Chief of Staff. There will also be period music provided during the evening.V-J Day headline


The Kissing Sailor V-J Day Commemoration Dinner



For those unfamiliar: On August 14, 1945, photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt took a picture of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square, minutes after they heard of Japan’s surrender to the United States. Two weeks later LIFE magazine, the world’s dominant photo journal at the time, published that image. It became one of the most famous WWII photographs in history and the most celebrated photograph ever published in the magazine–a cherished reminder of what it felt like for the war to be over. Everyone who saw the picture wanted to know more about the nurse and sailor, but Eisenstaedt had no information and a search for the mysterious couple’s identity took on a dimension of its own.

For many years, no one really knew who “The Kissing Sailor” actually was. There were searches conducted over the years and several candidates were identified, but all of the possibilities turned out to be incorrect. It was not until 2012 Mr. Verria answered the question definitively. Come and learn the story of that quest and the photographic evidence that proves it.

V-J Day3  On September 2, 2015—the 70th anniversary of “V-J Day” (Victory over Japan), the Falmouth Historical Society will welcome Mr. Verria, Mr. Mendonsa and Mrs. Mendonsa (the former Rita Petry) at the Coonamessett Inn in Falmouth. We will be having a dinner that night, celebrating the exploits of “The Greatest Generation” and allowing people to We will turn the Coonamessett Inn into a 1940’s canteen and honor those who served during World War II.

Menu for the evening: 

   o Minestrone soup (served at the table) 
   o Chicken Pot Pie with crust
   o Beef Bourguignon
   o Mashed potatoes
   o Seasonal Vegetable 
   o Apple Crisp with whipped cream (served at the table)

Special note: any veteran of World War II who lives in Falmouth can attend for no charge that night. If they need someone to come with them, one escort is allowed to attend at a price of $ 40. All other attendees must pay full admission price. To make a reservation for a Falmouth WW2 veteran, please call 508-548-4857 or email [email protected]

This event made possible in part by the sponsorship of Cape Cod Five Bank, Wood Lumber Company, and the Falmouth Road Race.

To purchase a ticket to this dinner at the Coonamessett Inn in Falmouth, click below:


The Kissing Sailor V-J Day Commemoration Dinner



Cannot make the dinner but still want to make a donation to honor those who served in World War 2?  You can do so below:




September 9, 7 pm: Stewart Gordon, “The History of the World in Sixteen Shipwrecks”

  • Wednesday, September 9, 7 pm: Stewart Gordon, author of “The History of the World in Sixteen Shipwrecks”

 

Roman triremes of the Mediterranean. The treasure fleet of the Spanish Main. Great ocean liners of the Atlantic. Stories of disasters at sea fire the imagination as little else can, whether the subject is a historical wreck—the Titanic or theBismark—or the recent capsizing of a Mediterranean cruise ship. Shipwrecks also make for a new and very different understanding of world history. A History of the World in Sixteen Shipwrecks explores the ages-long, immensely hazardous, persistently romantic, and still-ongoing process of moving people and goods across far-flung maritime worlds.

Telling the stories of ships and the people who made and sailed them, from the earliest ancient-Nile craft to the Exxon Valdez, A History of the World in Sixteen Shipwrecks argues that the gradual integration of localized and separate maritime regions into fewer, larger, and more interdependent regions offers a unique window on world history. Stewart Gordon draws a number of provocative conclusions from his study, among them that the European “Age of Exploration” as a singular event is simply a myth—many cultures, east and west, explored far-flung maritime worlds over the millennia—and that technologies of shipbuilding and navigation have been among the main drivers of science and technology throughout history. Finally, A History of the World in Sixteen Shipwrecks shows in a series of compelling narratives that the development of institutions and technologies that made terrifying oceans familiar, and turned unknown seas into sea-lanes, profoundly matters in our modern world

Sept. 30: Elizabeth Abbott lecture: “A History of Marriage”

  • Wednesday, September 30, 7 pm: Elizabeth Abbott, “A History of Marriage”

A History of Marriage explores how marriage developed, and examines real-life experiences in their wider historical context: How did a wealthy couple’s experience differ from a poor one’s? How did children both fit into and define the shape of marriage? What were a couple’s alternatives to staying together, and how long was the average marriage until death ended it? Abbott provides an intriguing look at the way we were, and poses important questions relevant to a 21st-century understanding of marriage.