History & Headlines

Were You Alive in May 1945?

Baby Boomer Trivia From May 1945: Victory in Europe, VE Day Celebrations & Sentimental Journey

On May 1, 1945, a German radio station broke the news to the world that Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun were dead; they had committed suicide the day before. Four days later, U.S. troops liberated the Mauthausen concentration camp in Germany, nearing the end of German involvement in World War II. On May 8, 1945 the Allies accepted Germany’s unconditional surrender and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (by then a 70-year-old septuagenarian senior citizen) announced Victory in Europe (VE) Day. Senior citizens today will remember WW II VE Day celebrations that took place across Europe, Canada, and the United States. Below, V-E Day Celebrations on Bay Street in Toronto, Canada on May 7 1945. 

may 7 1945, ve day celebrations, toronto ontario, canada, city of toronto (Photo: John H. Boyd / City of Toronto Archives | Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain)

In Halifax and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia the city populations had nearly doubled during World War II from military personnel stationed there. Overcrowding had strained relations between residents and the military. The VE day celebrations turned into a riot in Halifax and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia by civilians and many of the 25,000 troops stationed in situ.

Looting of liquor and beer stores and vandalism caused damage to over 500 businesses in Halifax and Dartmouth, and 3 rioters died.

Les Brown’s songs My Dreams Are Getting Better all the Time and Sentimental Journey are topping the US Song charts in May 1945.

Below, a video time capsule montage set to Sentimental Journey with Les Brown & orchestra, sung by Doris Day. 

For more “Were You Alive?”,

Were You Alive in January 1945?

Were You Alive in February 1945?

Were You Alive in March 1945?

Were You Alive in April 1945?

Were You Alive in June 1945?

Were You Alive in July 1945?

Were You Alive in August 1945?

Were You Alive in September 1945?

Were You Alive in October 1945?

Were You Alive in November 1945?

Were You Alive in December 1945?

Anita Hamilton

50+ World editor & baby boomer writer Anita Hamilton has always been interested in the "real people" stories behind the characters that create and inhabit the world of music, books, movies, television shows, current events, history, etc. A lifelong love of research (ok, nosiness) and writing, combined with a loving and supportive family complete with 3 mini-dachshund minions, keeps her busy.


Anthony Coates May 8th, 2020 at 10:50am

I was born in 1936 and lived near London throughout the war including the blitz. My life is aptly portrayed in John Borman's film Hope and Glory.

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