Sealed With a Kiss

George Mendonsa (AFC/2001/001/42868), Photograph (PH01), Alfred Eisenstaedt photographer, Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

It’s probably one of the most iconic photographs of our time – a nurse seen swept into the arms of a sailor as the two get lost in a kiss. Sigh. The photo was taken on Victory Over Japan Day (V-J Day) at the end of World War II. But the identity of the subjects remained a mystery until now. Over the years, many have claimed to be the two.

Authors George Galdorisi and Lawrence Verria say the famous couple is George Mendonsa and Greta Zimmer Friedman, both now 89 years old. They discuss their findings in their book, “The Kissing Sailor.” Galdorisi and Verria used forensic analysis and other methods to uncover the mystery.

The oral histories of both Mendonsa and Friedman are part of the collections of The Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress.

Washington, D.C.’s own ABC-7 interviewed Friedman, who is a Frederick, Md., resident, for a piece that aired on yesterday’s evening broadcast.

The Huffington Post also reported on the story earlier this month.



  1. Erica Eaves
    May 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    This is so Awsome, I graduated from Sam Houston state University with a BA in History and a Minor in Photography. I love this kind of stuff, I once did a term paper on Photography during the Civil War and Did a semeter doing Digital photo restoration with one of my professors.

  2. kay rutherford
    May 16, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    always have loved this photo. great to know you’ve found the people in it.

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