Vintage Video Taken on Victory Over Japan Day, August 14, 1945

I recently stumbled upon a short film compiled by Richard Sullivan. The footage was taken from video that his father shot more than 65 years ago on August 14, 1945. On that day, Japan officially surrendered during World War II.

The days leading up to the surrender were bleak. On December 7, 1941, Japan surprise attacked Pearl Harbor. On August 6 and 9 1945, the United States would drop atomic bombs on both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Not soon after the drop of the destructive bombs, Japan announced their surrender. The day would be known as Victory Over Japan Day (also known as Victory in the Pacific Day).

This video was filmed throughout Honolulu, including Kapiolani Boulevard, Ala Moana Boulevard, and Kalakaua Avenue and shot using Kodachrome 16mm film. You’ll notice that, other than the Moana Surfrider, most of the buildings along Waikiki have since vanished. Toward the end you get an excellent view of Diamond Head from Waikiki. That view, hasn’t changed much.

Some locations worth noting:

  • :28 – South St. next to the now defunct Honolulu Advertiser building
  • :38 – Kapiolani Blvd. seen from South St.
  • 1:05 – “Parade” goes from Victoria St. onto King St. with Thomas Square in background (with military buildings in it)
  • 1:21 – Lippy’s Service Station on Kalakaua Ave.
  • 1:26 – Ala Moana Blvd. with HECO plant at back left
  • 1:28 – Kalakaua Ave. nearing Kapiolani Blvd., with Kau Kau Korner at the intersection (later Coco’s and then Hard Rock Cafe; now CW’s at the Clubhouse aka CW’s Nightclub)
  • 1:40 – Moana Hotel
  • 2:05 – Looking up at viewers on the exterior fire escape stairs of the Moana Hotel
  • 2:17 – The orange awning is the House Of Coral store

Sailors in Pearl Harbor listen to the radio as the announcement that Japan has surrendered comes in (Photo courtesy of the Associated Press)

About Coty

Founder of Exploration: Hawaii. Adventure, Minimalism, Vinyl, Typography, and Coffee + Matcha. A single space after a period, please.