The Surrender of Japan, September 2, 1945

Following the announcement of the Japanese surrender on August 14, 1945, Japan surrendered officially with the Instrument of Surrender which secured an unconditional surrender of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters and all Japanese armed forces to the Allied Powers and ended World War II. It was signed on board the USS Missouri (BB-63) at Tokyo Bay, Japan by General Yoshijiro Umezu, Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu, and Supreme Commander Douglas MacArthur on September 2, 1945.

Watch the proceedings below in the newsreel: JAPANESE SIGN FINAL SURRENDER, 1945, from the series: Motion Picture Films from “United News” Newsreels, 1942 - 1945

The Instrument of Surrender will be on exhibit in the National Archives Museum  from August 27 through October 28, 2015, marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

See also:  Unconditional Surrender of German Forces, May 7, 1945


Collection’s Highlight: 20th Century Cape 

*Post edited to reflect correct information- because turns out I was wrong. 

It turns out that Shaker women had a thriving industry of cape making in the late 19th and into the 20th century.  These capes were quite popular among women outside the Shaker community.  This popularity probably influenced our donor to purchase it while visiting western Massachusetts in the 1920s.  

An article sent to me by @subversivegrrl entitled “Shaker Textiles, Cloak Making” by Sharon Duane Koomer traces the history Shaker cloak making. The article is really engaging and features color photos of other shaker cloaks. (so you really should check it out for yourself- link above) 

In reference to “The Dorothy” Koomer states, “Oral history indicates that the cloak industry began in Canterbury, New Hampshire, where Eldress Dorothy Durgin created the well-known cloak design around 1890 and had it trademarked under the “Hart & Shepard” name in 1903. That design became commonly known as “The Dorothy,” and by that time the industry was already well-established.” pg 107. 

Miller, M. Stephen. 2010. Inspired innovations: a celebration of Shaker ingenuity. Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England.  

Cape, Ca 1925-1940, Hart & Shepard E. Canterbury, Wool, Silk. The Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York, Gift of Mrs. Edith Mulhall Achilies, N0003.1950.


Le crabe aux pinces d’or (The Crab with the Golden Claws)

30 in x of animated feature film history
Release: Jan. 11th, 1947
Country: Belgium
Director: Claude Misonne

“The Crab with the Golden Claws is a 1947 Belgian stop-motion film based on the comic book of the same name from The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé. This was the first Tintin story to be adapted into a movie and follows the story of the comic almost exactly. It was also the first animated film out of Belgium.

Tintin finds himself involved in a mystery of a drowned man, a regular tin of crab meat, and the name of a ship called the Karaboudjan. Upon investigating the ship, Tintin discovers that the shipment of tin cans contains not crab meat, but drugs. After learning about the ship’s shady business, Tintin ends up becoming prisoner on the ship which already casted off from the port. The only way for Tintin to escape is by heading for dry land by life boat, and the only person to aid him is the ship’s beer guzzling Captain named Haddock who is the only one on board not aware that his crew is trafficking drugs right under his nose.

There were only two theatrical screenings of the film; the first at the ABC Cinema on 11 January, 1947 for a group of special invited guests, while the other one was shown in public on December 21 of that year, before producer Wilfried Bouchery declared bankruptcy and fled to Argentina. All of the equipment was seized and a copy of the film is currently stored at Belgium’s Cinémathèque Royale. The copy is available to watch for paying members of the Tintin club.”

(see more)

The Crab with the Golden Claws is available on Vimeo. It is in French with Spanish subtitles. 


Credentials for Yoshijiro Umezu, 9/1/1945 

Series: Instruments of Japanese Surrender, 9/1945 - 9/1945Record Group 218: Records of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1941 - 1977

This letter authorizes Yoshijirō Umezu, then the Chief of the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff, to sign the Instrument of Surrender on behalf of Emperor Hirohito of Japan.  

(See also the related Credentials of Mamoru Shigemitsu.)

The Instrument of Surrender itself will be on exhibit in the National Archives Museum  from August 27 through October 28, 2015, marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

“A helmeted Australian soldier, rifle in hand, looks out over a typical New Guinea landscape in the vicinity of Milne Bay on October 31, 1942, where an earlier Japanese attempt at invasion was defeated by the Australian defenders.”



Tourists. Leibstandarte Division soldiers enjoying the Paris experience in the summer of 1940. Paris is always a good idea.