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The Famous Times Square Kiss

Written by: George Chittenden : 23 Jul 2019

Possibly the most famous of all historical photos. It was of course taken on V-J Day in Times Square on August 14th, 1945. Interestingly, three different dates are used in relation to V-J Day. August 15th when the Japanese surrendered in Japan, and because of time zone differences, August 14th, when it was announced in the United States, and then September 2nd, when the signing of the surrender document occurred, officially ending World War II. The fascinating thing about this photo is that the photographer, Eisenstaedt, didn’t get the names and details of the kissers, which was a mystery for years.

Numerous people have claimed to be the subjects, and over the years a huge amount of research has been carried out. Thankfully we now know for sure. The sailor was George Mendonsa of Newport, Rhode Island, and the lady was Greta Zimmer Friedman, a dental hygienist. The kiss was a spare of the moment thing, which was initiated by the sailor who grabbed the nearest girl near him, so arguably this photo is evidence of the most famous sexual assault of all time.

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