On September 2, 1945, the USS Missouri was anchored in Tokyo Bay when it hosted representatives from the Empire of Japan and the Allied Nations to sign the Japanese Instrument of Surrender. The signing of this document marked the end of hostilities in World War II.
The site of this historic moment marking the end of humanity’s most destructive conflict is now open to the public, as the Missouri has become a museum permanently anchored in Pearl Harbor.
Visitors can stand exactly where the documents were signed on the ship’s Verandah Deck, and see the Allied copy of the surrender in a glass display case. Getting the parchment for the document was its own challenge, and it was scavenged from the basement of a monastery in war-torn Manila in preparation for the ceremony. Despite its historical importance, it was signed incorrectly by the Canadian representative, who signed below the indicated line rather than above it. This led to all subsequent representatives signing one line lower, and each label’s signature was crossed out and corrected by hand.
Know Before You Go
Admission to the museum is $35.
If you'd like to learn more about the surrender deck, it is typically staffed by friendly volunteers with a wealth of knowledge on both the surrender and the ship itself.
In addition to the site of the Japanese surrender, the USS Missouri is a massive museum with many other things to see while visiting.