The nurse who was grabbed aside by a returning sailor and kissed when VJ Day parade was going on in New york on August 14, 1945, the day Japan surrendred on the other side of the Pacific, died aged 92.
Despite the shock that the photo generated, it still remains iconic, memorable and controversial in the US with several positive and negative interpretations given to it.
The nurse, identified as Greta Zimmer Friedman, confirmed in 1980s as the woman despite several claims, died of pneumonia at a hospital in Richmond, Virginia. She was a 21-year-old dental assistant when she was kissed by George Mendosa in New York’s Times Square parade.
The photo came into public notice in the 1960s when the renowned photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt published it and she denied that it was a kiss saying “It wasn’t much of a kiss” in an interview with the Veterans’ History Project in 2005. “It was just somebody celebrating. It wasn’t a romantic event.”
Whille the iconic photo was praised by many as a symbol of the joy felt by Americans on the day Japan surrendered to the United States, some have termed it as “very public sexual assault”.