Today is the 76th anniversary of the Day that has lived in Infamy – Dec. 7, the day in 1941 that the Empire of Japan attacked the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor and plunged the United States into World War II. In addition to remembering and honoring the dentists (and all medical personnel) who served our country in WWII, there’s a nice story at the end of the war that many know, but do not know that it involves the dental profession.
It’s sometimes known as “the Kiss.” It’s an Alfred Eisenstaedt photo showing a sailor kissing a woman in New York’s Times Square. It was during the massive celebration that swept the country with the announcement of the end of the war against Japan. The war against Germany had ended the previous spring and a final wild celebration gripped the country. People celebrated together and strangers kissed! It was bedlam in Times Square and this sailor and woman were immortalized by the legendary photographer. However, he was so busy that he didn’t get the names of the sailor or the woman.
Since the woman is dressed in white, for a long time assumptions were made that she was a nurse. However, a recent accounts identify the woman and she was, get this: A dental assistant! So, the dental profession has a link to one of the most iconic images of World War II.
In case you’d like to read about the couple and how their kiss became so famous, check these out:
- Here is the link to Time magazine’s account.
- Here is the link to the New York Post’s account.
- Click this link for the Google account of “the Kiss:”
So, on this day of somber remembrance of Pearl Harbor and the start of WWII, we can reflect on a war, our country’s and our allies’ sacrifices made in victory over Japan, Germany and Italy (the Axis powers). And, finally, it was all summed up up with a historic kiss!