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Brookings is a city in Curry County, Oregon, United States. It was named after John E. Brookings, president of the Brookings Lumber and Box Company, which founded the city in 1908. As of the 2010 census the population was 6,336.
In 1906, the Brookings Timber Company hired William James Ward, a graduate in civil engineering and forestry, to come to the southern Oregon Coast and survey its lumbering potential. After timber cruising the Chetco and Pistol River areas for several years, he recommended that the Brookings people begin extensive lumbering operations here and secure a townsite for a mill and shipping center.
While John E. Brookings was responsible for the founding of Brookings as a company town, it was his cousin Robert S. Brookings, who was responsible for its actual design. The latter Brookings hired Bernard Maybeck, an architect based in San Francisco who was later involved in the Panama–Pacific International Exposition, to lay out the plat of the townsite.
On September 9, 1942, Mount Emily, near Brookings, became the first site in the continental United States to suffer aerial bombardment in wartime. A Japanese floatplane piloted by Nobuo Fujita was launched from submarine I-25. The plane was armed with incendiary bombs on a mission to start massive fires in the dense forests of the Pacific Northwest. The attack caused only minor damage. Fujita would be invited back to Brookings in 1962 and he presented the town his family's 400-year-old samurai sword in friendship after the Japanese government was given assurances that he would not be tried as a war criminal. Brookings made him an honorary citizen several days before his death in 1997.
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