Presidential Proclamation 2714 (61 Stat. 1048) was signed by President Harry S. Truman on December 31, 1946, to officially declare the cessation of all hostilities in World War II. Even though the actual combat of the war ended May 8, 1945, in Europe and September 2, 1945, in the Pacific, the state of war was not lifted off of Japan and Germany in order to give a reason for the necessity of occupation troops in these countries. Once the War Crimes Trials were over, the hostilities were seen as over. The signing of Proclamation 2714 is the reason why the U.S. recognizes its World War II veterans as anyone who has served between the dates of December 7, 1941, and December 31, 1946.
The declarations of war against Japan and Germany in 1941 were officially lifted as follows:
- September 8, 1951: Forty-nine nations sign the Japanese Peace Treaty in San Francisco, officially ending World War II and re-establishing Japanese sovereignty.
- October 19, 1951: President Truman signs an act formally ending World War II, after having Congress abolish the state of war with Germany (Pub.L. 82–181).
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