Was It Sexual Assault? 8 Unknown Facts About Iconic Duo from “V-J Day in Times Square” Photo

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The US World War 2 sailor was pictured kissing an unknown girl in New York’s Times Square to celebrate the victory. Unfortunately, he has died aged 95.

Nexter.org gathered all the fascinating facts about this famous photo and the sailor, George Mendonsa.

Statue was vandalized after US sailor’s death

me-too-kiss-vj-day-statue-pic

Source: SARASOTA POLICE DEPARTMENT

The day after the death of the US sailor, George Mendonsa, a statue of “V-J Day in Times Square” has been vandalized with graffiti reading “#MeToo”.

Police stated that the cost of the damage is $1,000 “due to the large area that the graffiti covers”.

 

The picture was taken by Alfred Eisenstadt 

On that day,  four pictures were taken by Alfred Eisenstadt for Life magazine.

He was famous for taking 90 pictures for Life magazine covers with over 2,500 photo stories published.

 

The contrast between the shade of clothes make an impact

Alfred Eisenstadt shared the story of this photo in his own book The Eye of Eisenstaedt:

“I was walking through the crowds on V-J Day, looking for pictures. I noticed a sailor coming my way. He was grabbing every female he could find and kissing them all — young girls and old ladies alike. Then I noticed the nurse, standing in that enormous crowd. I focused on her, and just as I’d hoped, the sailor came along, grabbed the nurse, and bent down to kiss her.”

He stated that the particular light color of the dress made this photo iconic.

Now if this girl hadn’t been a nurse, if she’d been dressed dark clothes, I wouldn’t have had a picture. The contrast between her white dress and the sailor’s dark uniform gives the photograph its extra impact.

 

Photographer didn’t give the name of the duo for a long time

Source: AP

Alfred Eisenstadt decided to keep the names in the secret, so it’s been a long time before the kissing strangers were confirmed to be George Mendonsa and Greta Friedman.

Actually, a number of other sailors and girls, including Edith Shain, Donald Bonsack, John Edmonson, Wallace C. Fowler, Carl Muscarello, were claiming that they were true identities of the kissing duo.

 

Who’s the girl George Mendonsa is kissing? 

Source: AP

The US WWII sailor is kissing  21-year-old Greta Zimmer Friedman. She was a dental assistant and didn’t know about the picture until the 1960s.

Here are some of her statements about the iconic “V-J Day in Times Square” photo:

“It wasn’t my choice to be kissed,” Friedman stated in 2005 to Library of Congress.

“The guy just came over and grabbed!” she added. “That man was very strong. I wasn’t kissing him. He was kissing me.”

“I did not see him approaching, and before I know it I was in this tight grip,” Friedman told CBS News in 2012.

She died in 2016 when she was 92 years old.

 

Sailor’s future wife is on the background of the picture

George Mendonsa was born in Rhode Island and had to leave from the USS The Sullivans. That evening, he was watching a movie with his future wife, Rita.

Suddenly, people started shouting and celebrating that the war ended, so Mendonsa and his future wife joined the partying on the street and then that George saw a woman and thought she was a nurse.

He kissed her and later stated that “I had quite a few drinks that day and I considered her one of the troops—she was a nurse.”

Also, in one of the pictures, the sailor said that there is Rita in the background.

 

The cause of George Mendonsa’s death 

Source: REX

George Mendonsa’s daughter, Sharon Molleur, stated her father suffered a seizure and died on 17th of February after a fall at a care home in Middletown, Rhode Island.

 

“A very public sexual assault”

The majority of people know this photo as the iconic moment of the celebration of the victory.

However, not everybody agrees with this way of thinking. For instance, Time Magazine stated that it’s “as little more than the documentation of a very public sexual assault”.


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Summary
Was It Sexual Assault? 8 Unknown Facts About Iconic Duo from "V-J Day in Times Square" Photo
Title
Was It Sexual Assault? 8 Unknown Facts About Iconic Duo from "V-J Day in Times Square" Photo
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The US World War 2 sailor was pictured kissing an unknown girl in New York's Times Square to celebrate the victory. Unfortunately, he has died aged 95. Nexter.org gathered all the fascinating facts about this famous photo and the sailor, George Mendonsa. 
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