In a televised address Friday, President Obama announced that the U.S. would withdraw all U.S. forces from Iraq by the end of the year, marking the beginning of the end of a controversial war that began with the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
The announcement was muted, almost anti-climactic, which may have been because people felt as if they had heard this before, or because this was a war many Americans never wanted. Some people even mocked the announcement, with a hashtag starting on Twitter — #MissionAccomplished — that was a nod to the 2003 speech by then-President George W. Bush.
As for the president, he looked tired, wary even, as he announced the fulfillment of a campaign promise, noting that there would be “difficulties ahead.”
Below, a look at how other presidents have announced the ends of wars:
World War I
When War World I ended in 1918 with an armistice signed between the Allied and Central powers, it was a response to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points. While there is no footage of Wilson announcing the war’s end, there is footage of the celebration from that day:
World War II
The war in Europe ended with the unconditional surrender of Germany. It ended in Asia when Japan agreed to surrender, too. President Harry Truman announced victory with much fanfare:
And on V-J Day, there were mass celebrations:
Most TV programs were canceled to broadcast President Dwight Eisenhower as he spoke about the armistice signed to end of the Korean War:
President Richard Nixon announced the peace agreement to end the Vietnam War in 1973. The official cease-fire had not yet taken effect, but Nixon’s weariness was audible in his “formal statement.” Listen to the speech here.
The announcement came five years after the Tet Offensive, a surprise attack on South Vietnamese cities that shook U.S. confidence in the war and spurred withdrawal of its forces: