On August 14, 1945, President Harry S. Truman announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, effectively bringing an end to World War II. Here are five things you may not know about World War II.
President Roosevelt Used Al Capone’s Armored Limousine It was feared that Roosevelt might be an assassination target during World War II, and the Secret Service didn’t have a car that was bulletproof to take him to give his Infamy Speech. One of the agents recalled that the U.S. Treasury had Al Capone’s armored limousine, which they had confiscated in 1931. The only comment Roosevelt made was that he hoped “Mr. Capone” wouldn’t have minded him borrowing it.
A 12-Year-Old Served in World War II While the legal age for serving in the war was 18, one young man lied in order to serve his country. Calvin Graham, a 12-year-old Texas boy, lied about his age and enlisted in the Navy after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He served on the USS South Dakota as a gunner, including in a battle with eight Japanese destroyers. He managed to keep his age a secret until he was injured, at which time his true age was discovered
DJs in America Could Not Take Requests From Listeners The Office of Censorship was established in 1941 to censor communications, which included no longer taking listeners’ requests for songs on the radio. Interviews with people on the street were discontinued. The fear was that secret messages might be sent by enemy spies using these methods.
Japan and Russia Never Signed the Peace Treaty This could prove to be quite fatal if anything was to happen between the two countries. However, not signing a peace treaty is due to the fact that both countries are still fighting over the Kuril Islands. Each country believes they are the rightful owners of the islands.
The Soviet Union Suffered the Highest Number of Casualties The Soviets and Germans signed a nonaggression pact in 1931, but the Nazis attacked the Soviet Union in June 1941 anyway, which they called Operation Barbarossa. The Soviets then joined the Allies in their fight, and by the end of the war, between 70 million and 85 million people had died. The Soviets suffered the highest losses in the war with nearly 23 million dead.