Saturday, 15 August 2009

Looking Back - Allied Nations Celebrate VJ Day

On this day in 1945, Japan surrendered to the allies after almost six years of war. There was joy and celebrations around the world and 15 August was declared as Victory in Japan day.
After days of rumour and speculation, US President Harry S Truman broke the good news at a press conference at the white House at 1900 yesterday. He said the Japanese Government had agreed to comply with the Potsdam declaration which demanded the unconditional surrender of Japan. Supreme Commander General Douglas MacArthur was to receive the official Japanese surrender, arrangements for which were under way.
Later, in an address to the crowd that had gathered outside the White House President Truman said: "This is the day we have been waiting for since Pearl Harbour. This is the day when Fascism finally dies, as we always knew it would." But he warned that the task of creating a lasting peace still lay ahead.
At midnight, the British Prime Minister Clement Atlee confirmed the news in a broadcast saying, "The last of our enemies is laid low." The day coincided with the state opening of Parliament which took on an air of a victory parade.
Thousands braved the rain to watch King George VI and the Queen driven down the Mall in an open carriage. Later that night the King addressed the nation and the empire in a broadcast from his study at Buckingham Palace at 2100.
Historic buildings all over London were floodlit and throngs of people crowed onto the streets of every town and city shouting, singing, dancing, lighting bonfires and letting off fireworks.
But there were no celebrations in Japan - in his first ever radio broadcast, Emperor Hirohito blamed the use of "a new and most cruel bomb" used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki for Japan's surrender. "Should we continue to fight, it would not only result in the ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation but would lead also to the total extinction of human civilisation."
The Allies had delivered Japan an ultimatum to surrender on 28 July 1945. When this was ignored, the US dropped two atomic bombs on Hiroshima on 6 August and Nagasaki on 9 August, the day Soviet forces invaded Manchuria.
The official surrender document was signed on 2 September 1945.

Today's Smile

Animal Crackers

Who Am I?

We have another mystery celebrity for you to discover in today's 'Who Am I' puzzle. From the clues given can you can you work out which celebrity it is.

01 I was born on the 8 January 1937.
02 I am a singer.
03 I have performed with Nelson Riddle and Count Basie among others.
04 I was born in Cardiff.
05 I was the last of seven children.
06 My father was Nigerian.
07 I have appeared at the London Palladium.
08 One of my best known songs was 'As I Love You'.
09 On 31 December 1999 I was created Dame Commander of the British Empire.
10 I performed at the Queen's Golden Jubilee.

Witty Bits

Notice in a Japanese hotel: You are invited to take advantage of the chamber maid.
Notice at a Budapest zoo: Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food give it to guard on duty.
Notice in a Bangkok dry cleaner's: Drop your trousers here for the best results.
Notice in a Bangkok temple: It is forbidden to enter a woman even a foreigner if dressed as a man.
Notice in a hotel in Athens: Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 a.m.
Outside a country shop in West Virginia: We buy junk and sell antiques.

Sing A Song Of Sixpence

Sing a song of sixpence
A pocket full of rye
Four and twenty blackbirds
Baked in a pie
When the pie was opened
The birds began to sing
Wasn't that a dainty dish
To set before the King?
The King was in his counting house
Counting out his money
The Queen was in the parlour
Eating bread and honey
A young maiden stood on the bowe of the ship
In true Titanic pose
When down came a seagull
And pecked off her nose

Wetsuit For Bald Penguin

A bald penguin who lost all of his feathers has been given a wetsuit to wear, to protect him from sunburn. Ralph, a nine-year old Humboldt penguin, has sensitive pink skin after he lost all of his feathers in one day while moulting,instead of in the usual four to six weeks.
His keepers at the Marwell Wildlife park in Hampshire cut up a staff members wetsuit to give him extra protection from the sun. Bill Hall from Marwell Wildlife Park describes how Ralph's customised wetsuit was made. To learn more click on the video link below: