Detroit marked Japan’s surrender in World War II on Sept. 2, 1945, with a speech by native son turned U.S. Supreme Court Justice Frank Murphy at Cadillac Square.
“Unless we cleanse our hearts of hate — racial and religious — this war will only be half won,” he told the estimated 5,000 people gathered. “We still have to stand guard against those in our midst who have been nurtured on the myths of the superior and inferior races and who practice discrimination against fellow Americans because of the color of their skin.”
He also praised Detroit’s key role in the war effort: “So few of us knew the might of the contribution this city made. Those in the factories here have given of their flesh and blood to make this the most powerful city in the world. How powerful it is can be seen in the fact that more planes and tanks were made in Detroit than by both Germany and Japan put together.”
For the full article, see Zlati Meyer, “This week in Michigan history: Justice praises Detroit’s role in World War II”, Detroit Free Press, September 1, 2013.