Victory Day is a holiday observed to celebrate the conclusion of World War II and is related to Victory over Japan Day in the United Kingdom. Many Americans are likely unaware of this holiday as it is only observed by the state of Rhode Island. Rhode Island retains the holiday in tribute to the disproportionate number of sailors it sent and lost in the Pacific front.
Originally, the official name was “Victory over Japan Day” and “V-J Day”, as proclaimed by then President Harry S. Truman was officially observed on September 2 nationwide. At some point, the name was changed to “Victory Day” in light of the modern post-war Japan emerging in economic importance. Further name changes were attempted later, but were unsuccessful, at which point, the name “Victory Day” remained the official name. President Truman’s announcement of the surrender started mass celebrations across the United States, which was when he declared September 2 as the official “VJ Day” in 1945. In 1975, the holiday was abolished at the Arkansas state level leaving Rhode Island as the only state in the U. S. where the holiday is a legal holiday. Rhode Island observed this day since 1948. Initially observed on August 14th, the Rhode Island General Assembly enacted legislation in 1966 to observe the holiday on the second Monday in August annually.