World War II ended in Europe on this day, May 7, 1945, when German emissaries entered a schoolhouse in Reims, France, where Gen. Dwight Eisenhower had his headquarters, and signed an unconditional surrender. The War in Europe had lasted five and a half years and cost tens of millions of lives. After the war, Eisenhower was elected the 34th president by the largest number of votes in history. He stated: "Without God there could be no American form of government or ... way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the ... the most basic expression of Americanism."