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fairbanks began as a temporary trading post established august 26, 1901 by e.t. barnette. the post became a permanent one when gold was found nearby and it became a city in 1903 by vote of its residents with barnette as the city's first mayor. by the time world war i came, the population largely depleted as gold miners left the area to more promising mines in iditarod and ruby. however, it began to flourish once more in the 1930s after the construction of the alaska railroad brought larger equipment in order to reach more gold. it received another boom in the 1940s and 1950s when it became a staging area for the construction of military depots for the cold war and world war ii. in 1968, it became a supply point for the construction of the pipeline after the discovery of oil at prudhoe bay which helped it to recover from a flood in 1967. in the late 1960s it took its borough seat upon the establishment of the fairbanks north star borough. in the 1980s fairbanks experienced a recession as the price of oil dropped but began to recover when the prices increased again in the 1990s.

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