There are numerous memorable photographs throughout history. V-J Day in Times Square is a photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt that portrays an American sailor kissing a woman in a white dress on Victory over Japan Day (V-J Day) in Times Square in New York City, on August 14, 1945. This is one of the most famous photographs—if not THE most famous—of the 20th century.
The photograph, taken with a Leica IIIa camera, was published a week later in Life magazine among many photographs of celebrations around the United States that were presented in a twelve-page section titled Victory Celebrations. A two-page spread faces three other kissing poses among celebrators in Washington, D.C., Kansas City, and Miami opposite Eisenstaedt's, which was given a full-page display. Kissing was a favorite pose encouraged by media photographers of service personnel during the war, but Eisenstaedt was photographing a spontaneous event that occurred in Times Square as the announcement of the end of the war on Japan was made by U.S. President Harry S. Truman at seven o'clock. Similar jubilation spread quickly with the news. [Source: en.wikipedia.org]
The significance of the kiss is summed up in one phrase: "kissing the war goodbye"! For it was on this day, August 14, in the year 1945 that an official announcement of Japan's unconditional surrender to the Allies is made public to the Japanese people. Exuberance escalated as news surged through the entire country, and across most of the globe of Japan's surrender. The war was over.
(The ceremony officially ending the war would not take place for another few weeks, when Japanese representatives signed the documents of surrender aboard the USS Missouri battleship in Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 1945.)