Victory in Japan! What a day for the Tri-Cities. This celebration literally shut Pasco down for days.
Pasco greets world peace with joy
By the Pasco Herald staff
Published on August 16, 1945
Pasco and vicinity was electrified by the news Tuesday afternoon of the Japanese surrender on the terms given them by the allied governments through President Truman. After two false starts, it took considerable time for the populace to realize that the surrender had actually come. People waited before their radio to find if this one also would be called a false alarm as the two others had been -- one Sunday evening and the other Monday night. But this appeared to be the real thing and the town and surrounding vicinity really let loose then.
Pasco went wild as the news of the Japanese surrender came at 4 o'clock. As person after person heard the news the celebration started. Car horns and local whistles were heard from all over town and the streets filled rapidly. Flags were put out and business houses closed. In less than half an hour the celebration was going full blast.
Where all the people came from no one knew but they were there and all were happy. All the pent up emotions of almost four years of war were let loose as people got ready to make a big day of it.
Old friends and neighbors met each other on the street. Threw their arms about each other's necks and kissed each other hysterically.. Then whirled on down the street to greet another old friend equally rapturously.
The long wait had been hard to bear. Feelings were pent up too tight. The false alarm of Sunday ... then again at midnight last night ... both had served to heighten the tension in the hearts of the public.
And when the real and soul-thrilling announcement came from President Truman Tuesday afternoon ... emotions spilled out of those tight hearts. And neighbors and friends forgot all conventions and embraced and tooted their horns ... and shouted across the streets...
For ... the War was Over.
In keeping with President Truman's proclamation and the later one by Governor Mon C. Wallgren, Pasco stores decided to close immediately and remain closed for two days, opening again Friday. Everything closed Wednesday and some people found themselves without food necessities, but they were so happy they did not notice much.
Pasco's two theaters also closed immediately also in accordance with instructions previously received by the manager.
There was some drinking, but everything considered, surprisingly little. The Navy and Army increased their personnel for the night, but they did not find to much to do. Liberty was granted at the Naval Air Base, but many of them remained on the base for the night.
Pasco was flooded with ‘Extras' early in the evening, the Herald issuing one for Pasco and another for Richland. The Sky-Writer and Kennewick each putting one out and one appearing from outside. People read them eagerly to verify what they had heard from the radio. The Herald, the Villager and the Sky-Writer carried Untied Press direct wire reports which had been arranged for previously.