Second World War: V-J Day Celebration

At the end of the Second World War, V-J Day was a different kind of celebration.

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V-J Day was a completely different type of celebration. People milled through the streets, shouting and elated. A dance band played, and people who hadn't danced for years got out and danced. 

A prominent citizen had saved some fireworks from the pre-war days. He fired sparklers, roman candles and all kinds of noise makers from the roof of the library. For those whose men were safe, it definitely was a time to rejoice - but for the survivors, it was a tragedy.

One man had made the boast that he would lead the high school band down the street in his boxer shorts if his son came home unharmed.

Everyone wondered if he would fulfill his boast, and people laughed at such a brag. All of a sudden, the sound of the band was heard in the distance. There he was, wielding the baton. He wore his boxer shorts, which were partly covered by a white shirt.

It was a time for revelry; little thought went to the boys who gave their lives for their country.

Now was the time for American soldiers to breathe easier and rebuild their lives.

Many GIs came home with problems, but for the most part, they survived pretty well. No family was without problems if the man of the house had been absent for a long time.

Madonna Storla
Postville, Iowa

Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.