Alfred Eisenstaedt’s “V-J Day in Times Square” Homage Covers
Alfred Eisenstaedt’s “V-J Day in Times Square” (August 14, 1945)
“V-J Day in Times Square” is an iconic photograph of the overwhelming joy that the United States – particularly members of its armed forcces – felt when Japan surrendered to end World War II. The photograph, taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt, shows a member of the U.S. Navy embracing and kissing a total stranger – a dental assistant – on Victory over Japan Day in New York City’s world-famous Times Square on August 14, 1945.
Eisenstaedt was photographing a publicly spontaneous event in Times Square keenly anticipating President Harry S. Truman’s announcement that Japan had surrendered to end World War II. Eisenstaedt did not have opportunity to get the names and details of the sailor and assistant in the photograph as he continued to photograph the rapidly-changing event. The photograph does not clearly show the faces of the subjects, and over the years numerous people have claimed to be one or the other of the kissing couple. Eisenstaedt shot the photograph just south of 45th Street looking north from Broadway and Seventh Avenue.
Due to changing cultural values, the famous photograph began to be criticized in the early 2000s as a depiction of a sexual assault because the kiss in all likelihood is not consensual. This characteristic, in fact, may be the appeal for some of the homages below.