Texan signs peace treaty with Japan
On this day in 1945, Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz signed the treaty with Japan that ended World War II. Nimitz, born in 1885, was the descendant of German pioneer settlers of Fredericksburg. He was named commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet shortly after Japan's 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, and later commander in chief of Pacific Ocean Areas as well. With authority over the entire Pacific theater except for Gen. Douglas MacArthur's Southwest Pacific sector and the inactive southeast, Nimitz coordinated the offensive that brought the Japanese to unconditional surrender. He signed the peace treaty aboard the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay. Nimitz later spent two years as commander in chief of the United States Fleet, and also served as a roving ambassador for the United Nations and chairman of the Presidential Commission on Internal Security and Individual Rights. He died in 1966. In 1964 a local citizens' group established the Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz Memorial Naval Museum in the old Nimitz Hotel in Fredericksburg. The project evolved into the National Museum of the Pacific War.