Friday is the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day – or VE Day – when the Allies formally accepted Germany’s surrender, marking a significant date towards the end of the Second World War.
Readers of the Times first read about the news of “victory in Europe to be declared today” on page six, as the first part of the newspaper was still reserved for adverts until 1966.
Other newspapers, including the Daily Mirror and Daily Express, had begun to publish more eye-catching images on the front page – with many of those on 8 May 1945 showing crowds celebrating the momentous day.
Evening newspapers like the London Evening Standard and the Manchester Evening News were able to break the first reactions on VE Day itself.
Evening Standard managing editor Doug Wills said: “The Standard was first on London’s streets to report on-the-day VE Day news.
“It is first on the streets and now online too with the latest breaking news of the war against coronavirus. First with the news since 21 May 1827 – some things don’t change.”
The hunt for Hitler was still ongoing at this point in history, although there were some conflicting headlines as the Liverpool Echo declared: “‘Hitler’s body found’ – report”, while the Daily Express said: “Hitler not dead”.
Meanwhile the Financial Times was strictly business, reporting: “Stock Exchange to remain closed – Market reactions to a day of uncertainty.”
A note at the bottom of the Times front page reports that its staff will take the day after VE Day off “in accordance with the expressed desire of the Government that workers generally should enjoy a holiday after the announcement of cessation of hostilities in Europe”.
As such there would be no newspaper on Thursday 10 May, it said.
National newspaper front pages on VE Day, 8 May 1945:
Regional newspaper front pages for VE Day 8 May 1945: