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On This Day: Japan signs unconditional surrender ending WWII

On Sept. 2, 1945, Japan signed an unconditional surrender aboard the U.S. battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay, formally ending World War II.

Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and Gen. Yoshijiro Umezu of Japan sign the complete capitulation of Japan on September 2, 1945, aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo. Photo by Ed Hoffman/UPI
Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and Gen. Yoshijiro Umezu of Japan sign the "complete capitulation of Japan" on September 2, 1945, aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo. Photo by Ed Hoffman/UPI

Sept. 2 (UPI) -- On this date in history:

In 1666, the Great Fire of London began. It destroyed 13,000 houses in four days.

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In 1935, a hurricane hit the Florida Keys, killing more than 350 people.

In 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt dedicated the Great Smoky Mountains National Park along the Tennessee-North Carolina border. The park officially opened in six years earlier, in 1934.

In 1945, Japan signed an unconditional surrender aboard the U.S. battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay, formally ending World War II.

In 1969, Ho Chi Minh, the communist leader whose founding of North Vietnam and desire for reunification with South Vietnam ultimately resulted in war, died at the age of 79.

In 1973, J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, died at age 81.

Actor Richard Armitage attends the premiere of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," based on a novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, at TCL Chinese Theatre in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles on December 2, 2013. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
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In 1992, earthquake-spawned tidal waves killed more than 100 people in Pacific coast villages in Nicaragua.

In 1998, a Swissair jetliner en route from New York to Geneva, Switzerland, crashed off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. All 229 people aboard were killed.

In 2004, U.S. President George W. Bush accepted the GOP nomination for re-election, promising to build a "safer world and a more hopeful America."

In 2010, BP warned the U.S. Congress the company might be unable to pay compensation for its massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill if barred from new offshore drilling permits.

File Photo by A.J. Sisco/UPI

In 2013, American Diana Nyad, 64, completed a 53-hour swim from Havana, Cuba, to Key West, Fla., becoming the first swimmer to make the crossing without a shark cage.

In 2018, a fire at Brazil's National Museum, the country's oldest and most important natural history museum, destroyed most of its 20 million artifacts, including Egyptian mummies and historic artwork.

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In 2019, a fire broke out on a diving boat off the coast of Santa Cruz Island, Calif., killing 34 people.

File Photo courtesy of the Ventura County Fire Department

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