The Instrument of Surrender was only eight paragraphs long, but its intent was clear: “the unconditional surrender to the Allied Powers of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters and of all Japanese armed forces and all armed forces under Japanese control wherever situated.” In his U.S. Naval Institute Oral History, retired Navy Admiral Stuart S. Murray recalled how, when he was commanding officer of the USS Missouri, the stage was set for 2 September 1945:
The decision as to the place where the surrender would be made was in Washington. In fact, it was made by President [Harry S.] Truman. He had been the principal speaker, and his daughter Margaret had christened the Missouri when he was a senator from Missouri.