The Comedy Store
The Comedy Store is an American comedy club located in West Hollywood, California, at 8433 Sunset Boulevard on the Sunset Strip. A concomitant club is located in San Diego, California; the Comedy Store was opened in April 1972 by comedians Sammy Rudy DeLuca. The building was the home of Ciro's, a popular Hollywood nightclub owned by William Wilkerson, a rock and roll venue, where The Byrds were discovered in 1964; when the venue reopened as The Comedy Store in 1972, it included a 99-seat theatre. As a result of a divorce settlement, Sammy Shore's ex-wife Mitzi Shore began operating the club in 1973, she was able to buy the building in 1976, she renovated and expanded the club to include a 450-seat main room. In 1974, The Comedy Store hosted the wedding reception of newlyweds Liza Minnelli and Jack Haley, Jr.. The Comedy Club signage was covered, for the evening, by signs reading "Ciro's", denoting the venue's prior identity; the event was attended by many dozens of Hollywood glitterati, including Elizabeth Taylor, Sammy Davis Jr. Cher, Bob Fosse, Johnny Carson, Goldie Hawn, Cesar Romero, Priscilla Presley and other stars and present.
The soiree was so grand that Sunset Boulevard was temporarily blocked by police to allow Hollywood royalty to arrive in their limos unmolested by photographers and reporters. Beginning in 1979, The Comedy Store served for many years as the host location for the annual HBO Young Comedians specials. In 1979, stand-up comedians formed a short-lived labor union and demanded to be paid for their appearances at The Comedy Store. For six weeks, several famous comedians staged a protest in front of the club, while others crossed the picket line; the comedians involved formed a union called Comedians for Compensation and fought for pay where they had received none before. They picketed in front of the club when their demands were not met. Jay Leno and David Letterman were among those on the picket line while Garry Shandling and Yakov Smirnoff crossed the line; the job action was not a strike as the comedians were classified as "independent contractors" and were not under contract with the club. Mitzi Shore argued that the club was and had always been a showcase and training ground for young comedians and was not about profits.
She alleged that comedians came to the club and could work on their material in front of casting agents and other talent scouts who would hire them as professionals if they were good enough. The comedians at the club became unhappy when the club was expanded several times and it was perceived that Shore's profits were quite substantial. Shore paid the rest of her staff, including waitresses and bartenders. After the strike, some comedians were no longer allowed to perform at the club, including Steve Lubetkin, who committed suicide by jumping off the roof of the Continental Hyatt House next door, his suicide note included the line: "My name is Steve Lubetkin. I used to work at The Comedy Store." Lubetkin hoped. He cited Shore as the reason he no longer had a job; the union ceased to exist in 1980, although from the time of the job action onward, comedians in Los Angeles were paid for their shows. This included The Improv; the history of the young comedians coming to Los Angeles in the 1970s and performing at the club is told in the book I'm Dying Up Here by William Knoedelseder.
An Interview with Sammy Shore, Comedy Store Founder, June 2011 The Comedy Store
Hayden Christensen is a Canadian actor and producer. He began his career on Canadian television at the age of 13 diversified into American television in the late 1990s, he was praised for his acting as Sam in Life as a House, earning Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. Christensen gained international fame for his portrayal of Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, his honors for these films include a nomination for the Saturn Award for Best Actor and the Cannes Film Festival Revelation Award. Christensen was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, to Alie, an American speechwriter, David Christensen, a Canadian computer programmer and communications executive, his father is of Danish descent, his mother has Swedish and Italian ancestry. Christensen is one of four children, with three actor siblings: older brother Tove, older sister Hejsa, younger sister Kaylen. Christensen was an athlete in high school, playing hockey competitively and tennis on a provincial level.
He spent summers on Long Island with his maternal grandmother, Rose Schwartz, attended the Actors Studio in New York City. After accompanying his older sister to her agent's office after she landed a role in a Pringles commercial, he began being cast in commercials as well, including for Triaminic cough syrup. Christensen made his acting debut in September 1993, when, at the age of 12, he played a supporting role on the German-Canadian television series Macht Der Leidenschaft/Family Passions; the following year, he had a minor role in John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness. From 1995 through 1999, he appeared in several films and television series, including Harrison Bergeron, Forever Knight, The Virgin Suicides, Are You Afraid of the Dark? He acquired wider notice while starring in Fox Family Channel's television series Higher Ground in 2000, portraying a teen, sexually molested by his stepmother, turned to drugs in his despair. Christensen's critically acclaimed portrayal of a misunderstood teenager in Life as a House earned him Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations, as well as the National Board of Review's award for Breakthrough Performance of the Year.
However, the performance did not receive widespread public notice. In 2002, Christensen made his London theatre debut with Jake Gyllenhaal and Anna Paquin in This Is Our Youth, he went on to receive good reviews for 2003's Shattered Glass, which tells the true story of journalist Stephen Glass, discovered to be fabricating stories as a writer for The New Republic and other publications. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote, "Hayden Christensen is sensational as Glass, finding the wonder boy and the weasel in a disturbed kid flying high on a fame he hasn't earned." In 2005, Christensen made his Broadway debut when he appeared in a 10-minute play. In 2005, he took part in the fifth annual "24 Hour Plays" benefit, which raises cash for nonprofit groups in the Big Apple. On May 12, 2000, Christensen announced that he would be starring as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith; the casting director reviewed about 1,500 other candidates before director George Lucas selected Christensen.
Lucas is quoted as saying that he chose Christensen because he "needed an actor who has that presence of the Dark Side". This was essential to solidify the story that Lucas was trying to tell: Anakin Skywalker's fall from grace and transformation into Darth Vader. During the production of Revenge of the Sith, Christensen asked Lucas if a special Vader suit could be constructed to fit his own body, rather than have a different actor don one of the original sets of Vader armor worn by David Prowse. Lucas agreed, a suit was engineered to fit Christensen's frame including extensions to allow for the actor to attain Vader's 6 ft 6 in height, his voice as the "robotic" Vader, was dubbed over by James Earl Jones, who first made the voice famous in the original trilogy. Stock footage of Christensen was used in the 2004 DVD-release edition of Return of the Jedi, where he was inserted to replace Sebastian Shaw as the ghost of the redeemed Anakin Skywalker; this was one of the most controversial changes.
Lucas wanted Anakin's inner person to return to. Christensen insisted this was done without his knowledge, an act, confirmed by Lucasfilm itself in the featurette "Return of the Jedi: What has changed?" as seen on the official website to commemorate the 2006 DVDs. His performance in both Episode II and III received mixed reviews by critics. Christensen was named in both People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People and Teen People's 25 Hottest Stars under 25. For his performance in Episode III, he won the MTV Movie Award for Best Villain. Between 2006 and 2007, he starred in Awake, with Jessica Alba, which tells the story of a man who remains awake but paralyzed during heart surgery, co-starred in Factory Girl, opposite Sienna Miller and Guy Pearce. Christensen next co-starred with Samuel L. Jackson, Jamie Bell, Rachel Bilson in the film Jumper, the story of a young man who discovers he has the ability to teleport. Bilson and Christensen co-starred again in the same segment of the film New York, I Love You.
Christensen appeared opposite Mischa Barton in Virgin Territory, released directly-to-DVD in North America on August 26, 2008. The film, based on The Decameron, is about a group of
Kevin Delaney Kline is an American film and stage actor and singer. He has won an Academy Award and three Tony Awards and is a 2003 American Theatre Hall of Fame inductee. Kline began his career on stage in 1972 with The Acting Company, he has gone on to win three Tony Awards for his work on Broadway, winning Best Featured Actor in a Musical for the 1978 original production of On the Twentieth Century, Best Actor in a Musical for the 1981 revival of The Pirates of Penzance, Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for the 2017 revival of Present Laughter. He made his film debut in Sophie's Choice. For his role in the 1988 comedy hit A Fish Called Wanda, he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. In 2003, he starred as Falstaff in the Broadway production of Henry IV, for which he won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play, he has been nominated for two BAFTA Awards and five Golden Globe Awards. His other films include The Big Chill, Cry Freedom, Grand Canyon, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Ice Storm, In & Out, Wild Wild West, The Road to El Dorado, De-Lovely, The Conspirator, My Old Lady, Beauty and the Beast.
Since 2011, Kline has had a recurring role on the animated comedy series Bob's Burgers. Kline was born in Missouri, to Margaret Agnes Kirk and Robert Joseph Kline, his father was a classical music lover and an amateur opera singer who owned and operated The Record Bar, a record store in St. Louis that opened in the early 1940s, sold toys during the 1960s and 1970s. Kline has described his mother as the "dramatic theatrical character in our family". Kline's father was Jewish, from a family that had emigrated from Germany, had become an agnostic. Kline's mother was a Roman Catholic of the daughter of an emigrant from County Louth. Kline was raised in his mother's Catholic faith, he has an older sister and two younger brothers and Christopher. He graduated from the Saint Louis Priory School in 1965. In 1997, the school named its new auditorium as the Kevin Kline Theater in his honor. Kline performed selections from Shakespeare as a benefit at the dedication, he attended Indiana University, where he was a classmate of actor Jonathan Banks.
He began studying composing and conducting music, but switched to a theater and speech major for his last two years, graduating in 1970. Kline remembers: "When I switched to the Theater Department, all I did was theater... I could make it to class because this was my passion." While an undergraduate, he was a co-founder of the Vest Pocket Players, an off-campus theatrical troupe. In 1970, Kline was awarded a scholarship to the newly formed Drama Division at the Juilliard School in New York. In 1972, he joined with fellow Juilliard graduates, including Patti LuPone and David Ogden Stiers, formed the City Center Acting Company, under the aegis of John Houseman; the Company traveled across the U. S. performing Shakespeare's plays, other classical works, the musical The Robber Bridegroom, founding one of the most praised groups in American repertory theatre. At Juilliard, he studied singing with Beverley Peck Johnson. In 1976, Kline left The Acting Company and settled in New York City, doing a brief appearance as the character "Woody Reed" in the now-defunct soap opera Search for Tomorrow.
He followed this with a return to the stage in 1977 to play Clym Yeobright opposite Donna Theodore as Eustacia Vye in The Hudson Guild Theater production of Dance on a Country Grave, Kelly Hamilton's musical version of Thomas Hardy's The Return of the Native. In 1978, he played the role of Bruce Granit, a matinée idol caricature, in Harold Prince's On the Twentieth Century, for which he won his first Tony Award. In 1981, Kline appeared with rock diva Linda Ronstadt and singer Rex Smith in the New York Shakespeare Festival's Central Park production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance, winning another Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical, for his comically dashing portrayal of the Pirate King. In 1983, he played the role in a film version of the musical with Ronstadt and Angela Lansbury, which had a limited theatrical release. In the ensuing years, Kline appeared many times in New York Shakespeare Festival productions of Shakespeare plays, including starring roles in Richard III, Much Ado About Nothing, Henry V, two productions of Hamlet, in 1986 and 1990.
A videotape of the 1990 production has aired on PBS. He appeared in a Lincoln Center production that combined the two parts of Henry IV on Broadway at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre in 2003 as Falstaff. Kline was nominated for Actor in a Play. Dubbed "the American Olivier" by New York Times theater critic Frank Rich for his stage acting, Kline ventured into film in 1982 in Sophie's Choice, he won the coveted role of mercurial Nathan opposite Meryl Streep. Streep won an Academy Award for her performance in the film. Kline was nominated for a 1983 Golden Globe award and BAFTA Award for Most Outstanding Newcomer To Film. During the 1980s and early 1990s, Kline made several films with director Lawrence Kasdan, including The Big Chill, Grand Canyon, I Love You to Death, French Kiss, he played Donald Woods in Richard Attenborough's Cry Freedom opposite Denzel Washington about the friendship between Activist Stephen Biko and editor Donald Woods. In 1989, Kline won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the British comedy A Fish Called Wanda, in which he played a painful
Double Trouble (1967 film)
Double Trouble is a 1967 American musical film starring Elvis Presley. The comedic plot concerns an American singer; the movie was #58 on the year-end list of the top-grossing films of 1967. Elvis was paid $750,000 plus 40% of the profits. Elvis Presley: Guy Lambert Annette Day: Jill Conway John Williams: Gerald Waverly Yvonne Romain: Claire Dunham Chips Rafferty: Archie Brown Norman Rossington: Arthur Babcock Michael Murphy: Morley Howard Thompson of The New York Times called the film "pretty fair and far better than the last three Presley clinkers," adding, "The studio-photographed action, most of it silly, has been blended rather neatly with the authentic backgrounds. At least the picture moves. Furthermore, the good tunes arrive thick and fast, several numbers are festive and charming." Variety wrote that the film "appears to have been whipped up to showcase a big name without much thought of content other than to serve as footage to cash in on the star's draw," though the review thought that Presley "gives a pretty fair account of himself despite what's handed him and the substantial hold he wields over his public should help reception."
Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times praised the "likable" cast and production values that were better than those of most Presley films: "The cast never left Culver City, but you would never know it, so cleverly have quaint Belgian streets and other European settings been reproduced on the back lot." The Monthly Film Bulletin wrote, "As an attempt to provide Presley with different material, this comedy-thriller misfires, despite its genial approach." Elvis' Greatest Shit Double Trouble on IMDb Double Trouble at the TCM Movie Database Review by Bill Treadway at DVD Verdict, August 3, 2004. Review by Jon Danziger at *digitallyOBSESSED!, July 28, 2004
United States Army
The United States Army is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution; as the oldest and most senior branch of the U. S. military in order of precedence, the modern U. S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, formed to fight the American Revolutionary War —before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army; the United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775. As a uniformed military service, the U. S. Army is part of the Department of the Army, one of the three military departments of the Department of Defense; the U. S. Army is headed by a civilian senior appointed civil servant, the Secretary of the Army and by a chief military officer, the Chief of Staff of the Army, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
It is the largest military branch, in the fiscal year 2017, the projected end strength for the Regular Army was 476,000 soldiers. S. Army was 1,018,000 soldiers; as a branch of the armed forces, the mission of the U. S. Army is "to fight and win our Nation's wars, by providing prompt, land dominance, across the full range of military operations and the spectrum of conflict, in support of combatant commanders"; the branch participates in conflicts worldwide and is the major ground-based offensive and defensive force of the United States. The United States Army serves as the land-based branch of the U. S. Armed Forces. Section 3062 of Title 10, U. S. Code defines the purpose of the army as: Preserving the peace and security and providing for the defense of the United States, the Commonwealths and possessions and any areas occupied by the United States Supporting the national policies Implementing the national objectives Overcoming any nations responsible for aggressive acts that imperil the peace and security of the United StatesIn 2018, the Army Strategy 2018 articulated an eight-point addendum to the Army Vision for 2028.
While the Army Mission remains constant, the Army Strategy builds upon the Army's Brigade Modernization by adding focus to Corps and Division-level echelons. Modernization, reform for high-intensity conflict, Joint multi-domain operations are added to the strategy, to be completed by 2028; the Continental Army was created on 14 June 1775 by the Second Continental Congress as a unified army for the colonies to fight Great Britain, with George Washington appointed as its commander. The army was led by men who had served in the British Army or colonial militias and who brought much of British military heritage with them; as the Revolutionary War progressed, French aid and military thinking helped shape the new army. A number of European soldiers came on their own to help, such as Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, who taught Prussian Army tactics and organizational skills; the army fought numerous pitched battles and in the South in 1780–1781, at times using the Fabian strategy and hit-and-run tactics, under the leadership of Major General Nathanael Greene, hit where the British were weakest to wear down their forces.
Washington led victories against the British at Trenton and Princeton, but lost a series of battles in the New York and New Jersey campaign in 1776 and the Philadelphia campaign in 1777. With a decisive victory at Yorktown and the help of the French, the Continental Army prevailed against the British. After the war, the Continental Army was given land certificates and disbanded in a reflection of the republican distrust of standing armies. State militias became the new nation's sole ground army, with the exception of a regiment to guard the Western Frontier and one battery of artillery guarding West Point's arsenal. However, because of continuing conflict with Native Americans, it was soon realized that it was necessary to field a trained standing army; the Regular Army was at first small and after General St. Clair's defeat at the Battle of the Wabash, the Regular Army was reorganized as the Legion of the United States, established in 1791 and renamed the United States Army in 1796; the War of 1812, the second and last war between the United States and Great Britain, had mixed results.
The U. S. Army did not conquer Canada but it did destroy Native American resistance to expansion in the Old Northwest and it validated its independence by stopping two major British invasions in 1814 and 1815. After taking control of Lake Erie in 1813, the U. S. Army seized parts of western Upper Canada, burned York and defeated Tecumseh, which caused his Western Confederacy to collapse. Following U. S. victories in the Canadian province of Upper Canada, British troops who had dubbed the U. S. Army "Regulars, by God!", were able to capture and burn Washington, defended by militia, in 1814. The regular army, however proved they were professional and capable of defeating the British army during the invasions of Plattsburgh and Baltimore, prompting British agreement on the rejected terms of a status quo ante bellum. Two weeks after a treaty was signed, Andrew Jackson defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans and Siege of Fort St. Philip, became a national hero. U. S. troops and sailors captured HMS Cyane and Penguin in the final engagements of the war.
Per the treaty, both sides (the United S
New York (state)
New York is a state in the Northeastern United States. New York was one of the original thirteen colonies. With an estimated 19.54 million residents in 2018, it is the fourth most populous state. To distinguish the state from the city with the same name, it is sometimes called New York State; the state's most populous city, New York City, makes up over 40% of the state's population. Two-thirds of the state's population lives in the New York metropolitan area, nearly 40% lives on Long Island; the state and city were both named for the 17th century Duke of York, the future King James II of England. With an estimated population of 8.62 million in 2017, New York City is the most populous city in the United States and the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States. The New York metropolitan area is one of the most populous in the world. New York City is a global city, home to the United Nations Headquarters and has been described as the cultural and media capital of the world, as well as the world's most economically powerful city.
The next four most populous cities in the state are Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, while the state capital is Albany. The 27th largest U. S. state in land area, New York has a diverse geography. The state is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south and Connecticut and Vermont to the east; the state has a maritime border with Rhode Island, east of Long Island, as well as an international border with the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the north and Ontario to the northwest. The southern part of the state is in the Atlantic coastal plain and includes Long Island and several smaller associated islands, as well as New York City and the lower Hudson River Valley; the large Upstate New York region comprises several ranges of the wider Appalachian Mountains, the Adirondack Mountains in the Northeastern lobe of the state. Two major river valleys – the north-south Hudson River Valley and the east-west Mohawk River Valley – bisect these more mountainous regions. Western New York is considered part of the Great Lakes region and borders Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Niagara Falls.
The central part of the state is dominated by the Finger Lakes, a popular vacation and tourist destination. New York had been inhabited by tribes of Algonquian and Iroquoian-speaking Native Americans for several hundred years by the time the earliest Europeans came to New York. French colonists and Jesuit missionaries arrived southward from Montreal for trade and proselytizing. In 1609, the region was visited by Henry Hudson sailing for the Dutch East India Company; the Dutch built Fort Nassau in 1614 at the confluence of the Hudson and Mohawk rivers, where the present-day capital of Albany developed. The Dutch soon settled New Amsterdam and parts of the Hudson Valley, establishing the multicultural colony of New Netherland, a center of trade and immigration. England seized the colony from the Dutch in 1664. During the American Revolutionary War, a group of colonists of the Province of New York attempted to take control of the British colony and succeeded in establishing independence. In the 19th century, New York's development of access to the interior beginning with the Erie Canal, gave it incomparable advantages over other regions of the U.
S. built its political and cultural ascendancy. Many landmarks in New York are well known, including four of the world's ten most-visited tourist attractions in 2013: Times Square, Central Park, Niagara Falls, Grand Central Terminal. New York is home to the Statue of Liberty, a symbol of the United States and its ideals of freedom and opportunity. In the 21st century, New York has emerged as a global node of creativity and entrepreneurship, social tolerance, environmental sustainability. New York's higher education network comprises 200 colleges and universities, including Columbia University, Cornell University, New York University, the United States Military Academy, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, University of Rochester, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top 40 in the nation and world; the tribes in what is now New York were predominantly Algonquian. Long Island was divided in half between the Wampanoag and Lenape; the Lenape controlled most of the region surrounding New York Harbor.
North of the Lenape was the Mohicans. Starting north of them, from east to west, were three Iroquoian nations: the Mohawk, the original Iroquois and the Petun. South of them, divided along Appalachia, were the Susquehannock and the Erie. Many of the Wampanoag and Mohican peoples were caught up in King Philip's War, a joint effort of many New England tribes to push Europeans off their land. After the death of their leader, Chief Philip Metacomet, most of those peoples fled inland, splitting into the Abenaki and the Schaghticoke. Many of the Mohicans remained in the region until the 1800s, however, a small group known as the Ouabano migrated southwest into West Virginia at an earlier time, they may have merged with the Shawnee. The Mohawk and Susquehannock were the most militaristic. Trying to corner trade with the Europeans, they targeted other tribes; the Mohawk were known for refusing white settlement on their land and banishing any of their people who converted to Christianity. They posed a major threat to the Abenaki and Mohicans, while the Susquehannock conquered the Lenape in the 1600s.
The most devastating event of the century, was the Beaver Wars. From 1640–1680, Iroquoian peoples waged campaigns which extended from modern-day Michigan to Virginia against Algonquian and Siouan tribes, as well as each other; the ai
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo