America’s involvement in World War I ended 100 years ago at what is now a Burger King

World War I history was made in New Jersey on July 2, 1921 – but few people today know about it.

News 12 Staff

Jul 3, 2021, 12:15 AM

Updated 1,026 days ago

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World War I history was made in New Jersey on July 2, 1921 – but few people today know about it.
For the United States, the war did not end in the fields of France - but in Raritan, Somerset County, on what is now a Burger King and appliance store parking lot off of the Somerville Circle.
“It is kind of hard as traffic roars by us, to take a look at it,” says Raritan Historic and Cultural Committee former president James Fidacaro.
New Jersey Republican Sen. Joseph Frelinghuysen and President Warren Harding were on the golf course when they were told the congressional resolution officially ending U.S. involvement in World War I was ready to sign. They returned to the Frelinghuysen mansion for a small signing ceremony.
“And we were officially finished with World War I,” says Cultural Committee president Karen Eastlund.
Harding did not make an official statement. He simply said, “That’s all,” and then headed up the road to the Raritan Valley Country Club for another round of golf.
“We take a great deal of pride in all those who did serve our country and those people who are continuing to serve today,” says Fidacaro.
The Raritan Historic and Cultural Committee has put up a new banner to commemorate the 100th anniversary, but there has never been a major memorial on the site. The Frelinghuysen home was torn down in the 1950s. The land is now privately owned.
Could Raritan do a better job honoring the site? Fidacaro says maybe.
“They're hoping that some of us on the historical society…will come through and help them with that,” he says.
“It’s a small town, but it has so many bright lights about it,” says Eastlund.
The Raritan Public Library will be holding a centennial commemoration of the signing on July 10. A reenactor portraying President Harding is set to be there.


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