1 of 14
When news came on May 7, 1945, that the Nazis had surrendered and the war in Europe was over, cities across the globe played host to raucous celebrations.
The original V-E Day, or Victory in Europe Day—which is commemorated on May 7 in Great Britain and Commonwealth territories and on May 8 in the U.S.—was particularly colorful in New York City. And though the photographs LIFE captured are in black and white, they pulse with the energy of revelry. LIFE described the mood in Manhattan:
The war, of course, would continue in the Pacific until the surrender of Japan that August, following the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But for one day, at least, revelers would celebrate this critical milestone.
Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.