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Traffic Jam in Hartford, Connecticut, During an End of WWII Celebration

We are not certain of the exact date of today’s feature photo taken in downtown Hartford, Connecticut, but it is feasible that it was on August 14, 1945, the day that Emperor Hirohito of Japan announced the surrender of Japan to the Allies, which effectively meant that World War II was over. Another possibility is the photograph was taken on September 2, 1945, during festivities on the date that President Harry Truman declared to be the official V-J Day and the time when Japanese officials signed the surrender documents.

After some research it was found that photographer Leonard Hellerman took three pictures on the evening of August 14, 1945, visible at American Photo showing crowds that night in Hartford celebrating. Also of interest, the Internet Movie Database states that the film “Guest Wife” seen on the Hartford Loew’s Theatre marquee, was released on July 27, 1945, and fits in line with the time frame of both celebrations and when it may have arrived in Hartford, the State Capitol, and a medium-sized City.

Tell us what you find of interest in this photograph courtesy of Joe Sokola and Dan Strohl at Hemmings Daily.

21 responses to “Traffic Jam in Hartford, Connecticut, During an End of WWII Celebration

  1. Interesting photo. One car stands out among the rest for a good reason. The `42 Olds sedan pointing to the right has chrome bumpers; fairly unheard of in that brief production period before it halted for the war. Perhaps a real early model?

  2. Per IMDb, the second feature on the marquee, “Fatal Witness”, appears to have been released on September 15, 1945. That would push the date of the photo by another couple of weeks.

  3. the picture was taken on Main street in Harford looking south . Would have been standing in front of the Harford Municiple building ( Cityhall). The Linden and Central Church are in veiw

  4. Fatal Witness – Premiere – August 31, 1945 – New York.
    Released – September 15, 1945.
    Filmed – January 1945.
    Film – 5,317 feet.
    6 Reels.

    • Hartford Ct. – Maximum Temperatures reached for October 1946:

      October 5, 1946 – 80 degrees.
      October 6, 1946 – 84 degrees.
      October 7, 1946 – 82 degrees.

      • I was born and raised about 20-miles west of Hartford and yes it used to get warm on occasion at that time of the year but mostly it was cool. Many of the pedestrians are also wearing warm weather clothing. Central CT and the Hartford area was important to the war effort due to Pratt and Whitney being located nearby along with many machine tool companies, Colt Firearms, and other manufacturers. The men stuck in traffic could have been on their home from the many of the shops in the area at the time.

        • there were two E M Loews theaters on Main St, Loews Poli and Loews Poli Palace,
          the chandelier from one of them is sitting in a barn about 1/2mile from where I live now,
          about 8 miles from the original location – I remember both theaters

  5. I was age 6 — at the time of “V-E DAY” and “V-J DAY” of W-W-2, — a very impressive thing for a little guy to see! The first one was at Hollywood Blvd. and Vine Street in Hollywood, Ca. and all traffic was stopped — including scheduled Busses & Streetcars! The second one , (a bit more sobering ), was also fully stopped traffic at the City Hall of Los Angeles , Ca. These were both accompanied by “Search – Lights” playing all over the night sky!!! Very Happy Events! Gasoline rationing was lifted and we celebrated with Sunday Drives in our family’s: 1931 Model A Ford “Cabriolet” Roadster — with us two boys in the Rumble seat ! Edwin W.

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