Historical society revisits Middletown’s 1957 All-America City status

The Middletown Historical Society Wednesday will transport people back to 1957, when Middletown was named an All-America City.

The society will host a 7 p.m. presentation that features a video interview of 97-year-old Middletown native Knight Goodman, the man who gave the presentation in Cleveland that won the award for Middletown. The video will be shown at the society’s building, 120 N. Verity Parkway, Middletown.

Although Middletown won the award in 1957, work toward that award started 70 years ago, in 1946. Interest in the award was revived recently when City Manager Doug Adkins announced he would like to win the designation for a second time in 202o.

“The work that eventually led to the All-America City award started in 1946, right after the war,” said Sam Ashworth, president of the society. “That’s kind of why we’re featuring it now.”

“They actually started working when the soldiers came back home and there was the need for housing and all that kind of stuff,” Ashworth said. “So they got this stuff going that over the next 10 years, they were able to achieve all these things, and then submitted an application for All-America City designation, made their presentation up in Cleveland.”

After the 20-25-minute video, Ashworth will give a presentation about the “Middletown Peace Plan,” which was developed here, as Americans dealt with “a real paranoia about the atom bomb, and what to do about that,” he said. “They were absolutely afraid in this country that Russia was going to get the bomb. The gist of it was to strengthen the United Nations, to avoid World War III.”

About the Author