It was V-J Day (Victory over Japan Day) in
Times Square on August 14, 1945. The famous photo portrays
an American sailor kissing a young nurse in a white dress.
The photo was taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt who
was snapping so many pictures that day that he never took the
time to write down names or information of the people in them.
Another angle from a
The famous kiss was spontaneous and the
sailor didn't know the nurse at all.
Edith Shain wrote to Eisenstaedt in the
late 1970s claiming to be the woman in the picture.
In August 1945, Shain was working at
Doctor's Hospital in New York City as a nurse when she and a
friend heard on the radio that World War II had ended. They went
to Times Square where all the celebrating was and as soon as she
arrived on the street from the subway, the sailor grabbed her in
an embrace and kissed her. She related that at the time
she thought she might as well let him kiss her since he fought
for her in the war.
Eleven men had come forward claiming to be
the sailor, but George Mendonca was finally confirmed as
being the one in the photo after much analysis.
Note: Three more women had also claimed to be the nurse.
of the story was that he and his girlfriend (later his wife)
Rita were at the movie theater when people ran in with
the good news of Japanís surrender. George and Rita ran into the
streets with everyone else and he saw the nurse walk by and
As recently as 2008, other men had stepping
forward claiming to be the sailor.