On this day in 1981, The Common Council of Middletown decided to buy only American-made products in an effort to boost the nation’s sagging economy. The resolution was proposed by first-time Councilman Walter J. Dreaher, who said it was time to “re-instill the pride we once had in American-made products.” The resolution brought opposition from the mayor of Middletown, Michael J. Cubeta Jr., as well as many Middletown residents whose businesses relied on purchase of foreign-made products and machinery. “I can sympathize with the aims of this resolution, but it creates many problems,” the Mayor said. “It’s waving the flag to help the auto worker in Detroit while hurting our Main Street business people.” At the time, this was the state’s only “Buy American” legislation.
Story contributed by Deborah Shapiro.