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History of Salt Lake City, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
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World War II brought local prosperity as war industries proliferated along the Wasatch Front. In the post-war period defense industries remained important, and by the early 1960s Utah had the most defense-oriented economy in the nation. It has remained in the top ten ever since. During the 1950s a number of important capital improvement projects were undertaken, including a new airport terminal, improved parks and recreational facilities, upgraded storm sewers, and construction of the city's first water-treatment plants. As a move to the suburbs began, the city's population grew slowly, increasing by only 4 percent through the 1950s. Racial discrimination was still one of Salt Lake's most serious problems. The real power in the city lay with a group of three men (though it is difficult to get specific information detailing their activities): David O. McKay, president of the Mormon church; Gus Backman, executive secretary of the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce; and John Fitzpatrick (and after his death in 1960, his successor, John H. Gallivan), publisher of the Salt Lake Tribune--representing, respectively, the city's Mormon, inactive Mormon, and non-Mormon communities. The triumvirate continued to function through the 1960s.

Features of the period since 1960 include further enhancement of the city as the communications, financial, and industrial center of the Intermountain West; a declining population within the actual city boundaries (down fourteen percent between 1960 and 1980); the movement of both people and businesses to the suburbs as the valley population continues to increase; some decaying residential neighborhoods and a deteriorating downtown business district and the effort to deal with those conditions; the development of a post-industrial economy; and the rise to national prominence the Utah Jazz professional basketball team and of such cultural organizations as the Utah Symphony and Ballet West. The city's population in 1990 was 159,936.

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