Most of us are familiar with this picture. Captured in Times Square on V-J Day, 1945, it has become one of the most iconic photographs of American history, symbolizing the jubilation and exuberance felt throughout the country at the end of World War II.
For a long time, the identity of the pair remained a mystery. It certainly looks passionate and romantic enough, with many speculating that they were a couple – a sailor and a nurse, celebrating and sharing their joy. This year, however, historians have finally confirmed that the woman is Greta Zimmer Friedman, a dental nurse at the time, and George Mendonsa, a sailor.
A few facts have come to light. Far from being a kiss between a loving couple, we learn that George and Greta were perfect strangers. We learn that George was drunk, and that Greta had no idea of his presence, until she was in his arms, with his lips on hers.The articles even give us Greta’s own words:“It wasn’t my choice to be kissed. The guy just came over and grabbed!”“I did not see him approaching, and before I knew it, I was in this vice grip.”“You don’t forget this guy grabbing you.”“That man was very strong. I wasn’t kissing him. He was kissing me.”
oh, that’s ugly.