It is also important to note that when America entered World War II, the GM plant was closed down, and reopened and revamped to build not cars, but TBF Torpedo Bombers for Navy aircraft carriers. These bombers were then tested at Trenton Mercer Airport. Once again, Mercer County became an important part of the nation's war effort.
In the early 1940's thousands of soldiers came to visit Trenton on night passes and weekend leave. One of the first USO's in the United States was opened on Warren Street in Trenton by local service organizations. Further, the influx of visitors paved the way for the construction of a YMCA near the old Trenton train station. A third USO was opened during the war, and all told, over 1.3 million servicemen and women visited Trenton for these clubs.
At the end of World War II, New Jersey faced an interesting governmental problem. The problems faced by the state during the past 100 years could be solved to some degree by the adoption of a new state constitution. The original state constitution, ratified in 1844, did not provide for many of the needs of modern day New Jersey. Therefore, Governor Charles Edison, son to the famous inventor Thomas Edison, worked with citizens and leaders throughout the state to develop a modern state constitution. In 1947 the new constitution was ratified. Forever changing the role government would play in the state, the new constitution also required much more from the Mercer County area, particularly Trenton. New offices needed to be built, and more employees needed to be housed.
Another important note about the times centers around our Governor's Mansion. During the decade of the 50's Governor Walter Edge used the historic Morven House in Princeton as the Executive Mansion. But through several private contributions, another home in Princeton, Drumthwacket, was to become today's Executive Mansion.