• The US liberated the Philippine capital of Manila in 1945 after years of Japanese occupation. In this photo, two U.S. servicemen pose with two Filipina women, two Filipino men, and a boy wearing a sailor's cap. Courtesy of National Air and Space Museum Archives via Smithsonian Institution.

     

    More info
    Select an item:
    Kirkpatrick, James J.; World War II, Pacific Theater, Philippines. [photograph]
    • Date
    • 1945
    • Creator
    • James Kirkpatrick.
    • Description
    • Group portrait of two U.S. servicemen with two Filipina women, two Filipino men, and a boy wearing a sailor's cap. Philippines, 1945.
    • Partner
    • Smithsonian Institution
    • Contributing Institution
    • National Air and Space Museum Archives

  • As the field marshall of the Philippine Army, General Douglas MacArthur, pictured here, was instrumental in America's Pacific campaign through World War II. He returned to the Philippines for the nation's independence day in 1946. Speaking to a crowd of thousands he proclaimed: "It was the beneficent sovereignty of a liberator pledged to be withdrawn as soon as the well-being of the people would safely permit. American never wavered in that purpose. America today redeems that pledge. This land and this people that I have known so long and loved so well." Courtesy of University of Wisconsin Digital Collections via Recollection Wisconsin. 

    More info
    Select an item:
    MacArthur returns to the Philippines, 1945
    • Date
    • 1945-01-22
    • Description
    • Gen Douglas MacArthur goes ashore in Lingayen Gulf, near noon of Sunday, 22 Jan. 1945
    • Standardized Rights Statement
    • http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/UND/1.0/
    • Partner
    • Recollection Wisconsin
    • Contributing Institution
    • University of Wisconsin Digital Collections

  • Family and friends gather at the Tom Tom Cafe in Oxnard, California to celebrate Philippine Independence Day in 1948. Courtesy of California State University Channel Islands via California Digital Library.

    More info
    Select an item:
    Filipinos Celebrate Philippine Independence
    • Date
    • 1948-2012
    • Description
    • Filipinos celebrate Philippine Independence on July 4, 1948, at Tom Tom Cafe in Oxnard. Those pictured sitting on the left side of the table are, from front to back, five unidentified people, Margarita Rodriguez, Valinte Ines, Mary Rodriguez, George ... more
      Filipinos celebrate Philippine Independence on July 4, 1948, at Tom Tom Cafe in Oxnard. Those pictured sitting on the left side of the table are, from front to back, five unidentified people, Margarita Rodriguez, Valinte Ines, Mary Rodriguez, George Omo Jr., Carmen Omo, two unidentified people, Lillian Omo, Linda Franco, Domingo Dela Rosa, unidentified, and Virginia Salinas. Those pictured sitting on the right side of the table are, from front to back, Julian Simon, three unidentified people, Sarah Omo, George Omo Sr. and six unidentified people. less
    • Rights
    • Copyrighted. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires written permission of the coyright owners. In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of gifts or p... more
      Copyrighted. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires written permission of the coyright owners. In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of gifts or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user. California State University, Channel Islands. Consult owning institution. less
    • Partner
    • California Digital Library
    • Contributing Institution
    • California State University, Channel Islands

  • Diplomatic relations between the US and its former territory remain close. In this 1947 document, the state department issued a report on the Philippines one year after its independence. They praised the new nation, writing: "Thanks to their magnificent efforts and to the continued close cooperation...the Philippine Republic has launched safely and securely into the family of nations." Courtesy of University of Illinois via HathiTrust.

    More info
    Select an item:
    One year of the Philippine republic
    • Date
    • 1947]
    • Creator
    • Mill, Edward William, 1916-.
    • Description
    • Reprinted from the Department of State bulletin of June 29, 1947.
    • Rights
    • Public domain. Learn more at http://www.hathitrust.org/access_use
    • Partner
    • HathiTrust
    • Contributing Institution
    • University of Illinois.

The foundation of Philippine independence took root early in the twentieth century. Despite the defeat of Filipino patriots and continued challenges from scattered rebel groups, the Philippines enjoyed a measure of self-rule under the US. In 1912, President Woodrow Wilson replaced the Philippine Commission, largely staffed by presidential appointments, with the democratically elected Philippine Senate. By 1935, the US recognized the formation of the Philippine Commonwealth, headed by President Manuel L. Quezon. Both Manila and Washington, DC imagined the commonwealth as the organization that would help the archipelago transition from American territory to sovereign nation.

All negotiations ended with World War II.

The Japanese invaded the Philippines in 1942 and occupied the islands through 1945. President Franklin Roosevelt's initial reluctance to send troops to the islands was controversial, but the Philippines ultimately played a key role in America's Pacific campaign. With the war’s end came liberation. In 1946, US officials returned to the Philippines and ratified the Treaty of Manila. This granted full independence to the Philippines, as well as guaranteed war reparations and trade concessions. Manuel Roxas was elected the first president. On July 4, 1946, crowds gathered in the streets of Manila to celebrate. The republic was now free from Spain and the US.