Arts & Entertainment

Will Trump Put Bedminster in the History Books?

President Warren G. Harding signed the Knox-Porter Resolution ending our involvement in World War I in Somerset County in 1921 Credits: Borough of Raritan
Plaque commemorating the signing of the Knox-Porter Resolution. This plaque is located in the Borough of Raritan. Credits: TAP into Somerset Hills
President Donald J. Trump Credits: White House

BEDMINSTER NJ - Vice-President Mike Pence joined President Donald Trump Thursday at Trump National Golf Course for a working lunch. Since January, Bedminster has seen regular visits from dignitaries, and a string of high-level meetings. 

This all begs the question: Will an historic event take place in Bedminster?  

If Trump makes history in Bedminster, it will not be the first time that a President made history in Somerset County. Nearly 100 years ago, President Warren G. Harding ended the United States' involvement in World War I about eight miles south of the club.

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No, the Treaty of Versailles was not signed in Somerset County. History buffs know that the United States Senate did not ratify the Treaty of Versailles. The Treaty of Versailles ended World War I, bringing peace to war-torn Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The treaty also established the League of Nations.  

Senators in both political parties were concerned about U.S. involvement in the League of Nations, and the powers that the Treaty of Versailles granted to the League. There was enough opposition that the Senate voted twice whether to ratify the treaty, and twice the vote failed.

After the second failure, the House and Senate passed the Knox-Porter Resolution, which officially ended United States hositilities with the Central Powers.  

President Harding was visiting Senator Frelinghuysen at his estate, most of which was located in modern-day Raritan Borough. After the resolution arrived, Harding signed it in a formal ceremony in Frelinghuysen's home.  

A plaque commemorating the historic moment stands at the entrance to the Burger King located above the Somerville Circle in Raritan Borough, which now dedicates an entire page of its website to Senator Frelinghuysen and the signing of what some locals call "The Treaty of Raritan."

Will there be a "Treaty of Bedminster" during the next four to eight years?  Only time will tell.

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