World War II Ends

This is the way the world ends / Not with a bang but a whimper. —-T.S. Eliott


World War II ended as a result of a bang.

This one.



Americans were very happy when the War ended.


In 1945 Life Magazine formed the visual consciousness of the United States. This was before television. A Life Magazine photographer at the time was regarded as a celebrity of considerable attractiveness, much as people might view rock musicians today.

The scene was Times Square in New York City. The end of the War was announced and the streets filled with people to celebrate.

Two strangers intoxicated by the emotional relief that World War II ended, found each other and kissed. This may very well be the photograph most seen by people in the world since the invention of photography.

Life Magazine put this photograph on its cover. Just now, when I entered at the Google prompt: “End of World War II kiss” there it was appearing when the letter “k” was entered, even before I had completed entering the entire word “kiss.”

So famous is this photograph that decades later reporters interviewed the nurse and she described in detail suddenly seeing a man in uniform, a total stranger and kissing him passionately at Times Square in daylight.


President Harry S Truman announces the Japanese have surrendered and the United States has won World War II.

The Times Square KISS became symbolic that a huge number of men and women–largely male soldiers returning homes to their wives commenced making love immediately and passionately until the inevitable happened.


A characteristic emblematic of the Baby Boom generation is shamelessness. Wikipedia observes: “Baby boomers are associated with a rejection or redefinition of traditional values.”

One shameless baby boomer told me she was conceived the moment her father returned from the War stating, “The first thing my father took off was not his hat.”


“Young males returning to the United States, Canada, and Australia following tours of duty overseas during World War II began families, which brought about a significant number of new children into the world. This dramatic increase in the number of births from 1946 to 1964 (1947 to 1966 in Canada and 1946-1961 in Australia) is called the Baby Boom.” —

This song “Blowing in the Wind” is the Anthem of the U.S. Baby Boom generation. Bob Dylan’s version of the song is required. No one else could do it better.

Lyrics: Blowin in the Wind

How many roads must a man walk down

Before you call him a man ?

How many seas must a white dove sail

Before she sleeps in the sand ?

Yes, how many times must the cannon balls fly

Before they’re forever banned ?

The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind

The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

Yes, how many years can a mountain exist

Before it’s washed to the sea ?

Yes, how many years can some people exist

Before they’re allowed to be free ?

Yes, how many times can a man turn his head

Pretending he just doesn’t see ?

The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind

The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

Yes, how many times must a man look up

Before he can see the sky ?

Yes, how many ears must one man have

Before he can hear people cry ?

Yes, how many deaths will it take till he knows

That too many people have died ?

The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind

The answer is blowin’ in the wind.


You Tube provides a large number of videos of Dylan singing his anthem.

I deliberately chose this one. Dylan is singing here at the Newport Jazz Festival,at a critical moment in the history of contemporary popular music.

Within two years, Dylan was booed by his previous admirers. Dylan turned his back on folk music, electrified, and rocked to glory just as we changed and shocked and evolved.

Goodbye and good luck.

–Joel Solkoff

Copyright 2013 by Joel Solkoff. All rights reserved.







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