“But amid the national reckoning on racism, those calls [to change the name] have been renewed … some downtown Providence shops are taking part in a campaign called #RenameVictoryDay and have signs in their windows suggesting the holiday be called “Mayor’s Bay Day,” “Lobster Roll Day,” or “Surf and Sand Day.””
Every year we remember Victory Over Japan Day, later known as VJ Day, now celeberated only in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, with the shortened more politically correct name “Victory Day” because apparently historically accurately remembering over whom we had a victory is forbidden.
This year I missed the Rhode Island holiday, which is the second Monday in August, because it came earlier in the month (August 10) given how the calendar fell than usual. Today, August 15, is the actual day Japan’s Emperor broadcast surrender and the true Victory Day (the formal surrender papers were signed on September 2, 1945).
Scroll through the Victory Day tag for our prior coverage.
This video from 3 years ago gives some background:
This could be the last Victory Day in Rhode Island, as part of the movement to erase history sweeping the country. AP reports:
Rhode Islanders are renewing the push to change the state’s unique but controversial Victory Day holiday, which is being observed Monday….
Over the years, there have been unsuccessful efforts by state leaders to discontinue or rename the holiday amid concerns that the day, which is sometimes referred to as “V-J Day” or “Victory Over Japan Day,” carries negative connotations, WPRI-TV reports.
But amid the national reckoning on racism, those calls have been renewed. An online petition launched last month suggests changing the name to something more inclusive such as “Celebrate Rhode Day.”
The Providence Journal reports that some downtown Providence shops are taking part in a campaign called #RenameVictoryDay and have signs in their windows suggesting the holiday be called “Mayor’s Bay Day,” “Lobster Roll Day,” or “Surf and Sand Day.”
It’s not clear what will happen. The Providence Journal reports that political leaders are mostly giving a “no comment’ on the subject:
The Journal last week reached out to a dozen of the state’s high-ranking elected officials and 2020 candidates for their takes on whether Victory Day is ripe for a change.
Gov. Gina Raimondo, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio all had the same response: no comment.
General Treasurer Seth Magaziner “believes it is appropriate to celebrate the end of the second world war as a victory over fascism,” spokesman Evan England wrote in en email. “Thousands of Rhode Islanders sacrificed themselves for the cause of democracy, and their example is especially important today given the troubling rise of extremism and totalitarianism both abroad and at home.”
Even Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, who has waded into cultural battles before (he has proposed reparations for Black and indigenous city residents) steered clear of the Victory Day debate.
With Governor Gina Raimondo seeking to remove “Providence Plantations” from the state name, even though historically it had nothing to do with slavery, it’s only a matter of time.
The Featured Image if from a video of Victory Day in Hawaii we play every year.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.