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Photo gallery: Tampa Bay celebrates V-J Day and end of World War II

On Aug. 14, 1945, after six horrific years of war, it was announced that Japan had finally surrendered.

Historian Gary Mormino writes about the reaction here in the Tampa Bay area:

Floridians heard the longed-for news at 7 p.m. that evening: The war was over! From Pass-a-Grille to Safety Harbor, from

Tarpon Springs to Thonotosassa, towns and hamlets across Tampa Bay erupted in rapturous joy.

No place in Tampa Bay escaped the sounds of victory.

The St. Petersburg Times understated, "Last night was a night St. Petersburg will long remember," adding "that even before Times extras with big red headlines hit the streets a few minutes later, a howling, screaming, hysterical mob descended upon Central avenue."

"Perhaps some other day will be V-J day," proclaimed the St. Petersburg Independent. "But to tens of thousands of St. Petersburg civilians, soldiers and sailors and what seemed like a million children, last night was V-J night and no day hereafter can take its place. For with the sounding of the victory whistles at 7 p.m. came a spontaneous celebration the like of which this city has not seen before."

These photos from the Times archives show scenes from the celebration in downtown St. Petersburg that evening.

You can find more of our coverage of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II by clicking here.

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