Remembering 70th Anniversary of VE Day …

and other events on this date.  In looking at letters that would reflect events in history today, May 08, it would mean looking for letters of someone trying Coca-Cola for the first time (1886), to great crowds celebrating VE Day ending (1945), to someone writing about seeing the first James Bond movie (1963), “Dr. No”

and perhaps weaving through these letters there could be mention of having a coke as part of celebrating World War II ending, .. as part of their refreshments with their popcorn at the Sean Connery movie… 

Photo attribution (upper left): By War Office official photographer, Horton (Maj) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.  File:Winston Churchill waves to crowds in Whitehall in London as they celebrate VE Day, 8 May 1945. H41849.jpg

On this date in history, these events were noteworthy to me (listed in chronological order):

  • From January 01, 2012 The Chronicle Of Coca-Cola: Birth of a Refreshing Idea” Dr. John Stith Pemberton, a local pharmacist, “introduced in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 8, 1886 the syrup for Coca-Cola, and carried a jug of the new product down the street to Jacobs’ Pharmacy, where it was sampled, pronounced “excellent” and placed on sale for five cents a glass as a soda fountain drink.”
Photo Attribution: English: Piccadilly Square pictured as supporters celebrate VE Day, May 08, 1945. Photo taken by Sgt. James A. Spence, during his service in World War II. Mrjspence at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons from Wikimedia Commons
  • In People, an audio recording of Queen Elizabeth II remembering today,  “one of the most memorable nights of my life” as she watched revelers “linking arms” and moved among the crowds outside Buckingham Palace celebrating the end of World War II in Europe on May 8, 1945, which has now become known as VE Day.   The queen reflected on the rare event in a BBC recording from 1985, which the palace released online Friday to mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day.
  • On this day in history, May 08, 1963, Sean Connery stars in his first Bond movie, Dr. No.   There was this article from Dec 07, 2013:  “For your eyes only: Letters that reveal deepest secrets of the 007 creator Ian Fleming… and the day he almost dropped dead at a Sunday Times meeting.  Letters between James Bond creator Ian Fleming and his friend Denis ‘CD’  Hamilton are on sale for £160,000″

Hearing the audio recording of Queen Elizabeth II is a treasure and appreciated that it was shared online.  I had heard it before on a PBS documentary and do not tire of hearing her enthusiasm and recalling of the event.  The events of the time reflecting the greatest generation that we will continue to still write about in another 70 years from now.  I’m not aware of any letters in my family from this time period still being around, I recall hearing about 35 mm slides and film prints being wiped out when a basement was flooded while I was in junior high school and do not know if that included any saved letters.

To read that letters between the James Bond creator and his friend were on sale for such a large amount of money is astounding!  To think if our own letters would ever be valued at such a price!  But there are letters we have possession of that are priceless to us!  For example, the signed birthday cards I have kept in my scrapbooks with my Dad’s & Mom’s signature are treasured.  I’m sure you have your own examples.

The point of including additional events sharing today’s date with VE day was to say if we look we will see items that consistently weave through our lives that we take for granted of them being here alongside with us.   The next time you write that letter to your Mom, pause and include comments about the little things, such as ‘grocery store shopping this week included picking up the 12-can pack of diet coke for $2.50 on sale! limit 4 cases’ … or ‘went to the new movie of … that opened at the movie theater today for $8.93 a ticket”… Years down the road we’ll have the perspective of time when reading and seeing how little you paid today for that 12-can pack or movie theater ticket!  We’ll only know this though if you actually wrote about it!

My closing thought is if we are fortunate in the future to come across something you took the time to write about a current event (that 70 years down the road is viewed of huge historical significance such as 70th Anniversary of VE day) please keep those letters out of the basement and any potential water exposure, scanning them prior to archiving.  We all will be glad you did!

Anchors Aweigh,  













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