During the summer of 1977, the acting Mayor of Vulcan (West Virginia), 42 year-old Bartender Robert Robinette, asked the State Authorities to fund a bridge linking the mining town of Vulcan to Kentucky. This request was promptly turned down. The Mayor thought this decision was unfair as the 200 people in his community had paid taxes all their working lives, and the US was always presented as the ‘richest’ country in the world. To remedy this situation, the Mayor wrote a letter to East Germany and the USSR explaining the situation, and requesting help in the form of Soviet Foreign Aid! This was despite the fact that Robert Robinette lived in a trailer that flew the US flag. When Russian Reporters turned-up in the area to investigate the story, the State Authorities were shamed into granting $1.3 million to build the bridge. In the meantime, local radio stations received bomb threats from local rightwing militias who threatened to blow-up any bridge built by ‘Communists’ and to kill anyone who assisted the building of such a bridge. Is this story ture? Details of these events certainly appear in the local press of the day in the US, but I cannot find any Russian language texts from the Soviet Archives confirming this story.
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