What is the most misunderstood picture that has become famous?
Alfred Eisenstaedt’s Times Square V-J Day photo
First, there is another photograph of the same event capturing a little detail which has mostly gone amiss with the popularity of the iconic photograph.
This one captured a girl in the background, with whom the sailor was actually out on a date that day. She did go on to become his wife later and her name is Rita Mendonsa.
Image source :
Second, the pair who are actually kissing in the photograph, George Mendonsa and Greta Zimmer, did not know each other.
The actual story behind the photo is as romantic as a cabbage:
George was all set to leave for the war again and was on a date with a girl with whom he later said he had fallen in love at the first sight.
They were watching a show when they learned the war was over. So leaving the show in the middle, they went out on the streets where people had begun preliminary celebrations. George got buzzed after having one too many drinks.
Now, George highly respected the nurses he had seen in the war.
Obviously, because they treated the injured soldiers and helped them get back on their feet.
He then sees this girl - Greta, in a nurse's uniform. Alcohol and reverence for the nurses takes over and promptly forgetting his love at first sight Rita, he moves away and grabs Greta- the nurse and plants his iconic kiss on her unaware self.
Greta was obviously not amused and tried to get out of his grasp but it was over as quickly as it had begun.
And get this, Greta was not actually a nurse.
She was wearing her dental assistant uniform and had walked to the square to confirm if the news was true.
Anyway, long story short, George and Rita end up marrying and Rita was never really bothered by the photo as George was all tipsy and they weren't even engaged at that point.
I do however feel that the photo did capture the happiness which came with the end of the second world war - if you look around the pair, happiness is beaming everywhere in the background. The grabbing someone forcefully part is not cool though.
And that's why I feel this is a misunderstood photo as the spotlight has always been on George and Greta.
This information was taken from Quora. Click here to view the original post.
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