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We Make History

We Make History


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"Those Who Do Not Learn History Are Doomed To Repeat It." Really?

History shows that both those who do not learn history and those who do learn history are doomed to repeat it.

'Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.'

The quote is most likely due to writer and philosopher George Santayana , and in its original form it read, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Santayana was known for aphorisms, and for being a professor in philosophy at Harvard which he abandoned. Prior to that, Santayana attended Boston Latin School and Harvard College, where he studied under the philosophers William James and Josiah Royce .

According to Santayana's philosophy , history repeats. The phrasing itself certainly is catchy. It's a big one, not only because it is so common, but also because if it is true and if history, driven by human nature, is ugly (hint: it is), then this saying ought to guide our public and private policy.

The sentiment that history repeats aspires to common sense and is hard to disagree with. In the history of the United States and Europe , wars have ended with confiscatory terms of government surrender inevitably breeding more wars. Revolutions, like those in France and Russia, that gave an individual absolute power—Napoleon and Stalin, respectively—inevitably end up as failed empires brutal dictatorships. Even individuals are subject to this advice. Couples who do not learn from their fights break up. People who don’t learn from their mistakes don’t mature.

In the 21st century, specific events in Syria have proven a repeated lessons about civil wars , like the Vietnam war, that when great powers intervene to fight proxy battles, conflict becomes protracted. Incidentally, when Abraham Lincoln governed during the American Civil War , he recognized it was essential to keep out foreign powers like Britain and France .

So it is the ruling of The Proverbial Skeptic that history repeats and the saying is true, but


But, it doesn’t really have any power. Why? History shows that both those who do not learn history and those who do learn history are doomed to repeat it. If it's also true that those who do learn history are doomed to repeat it, then the saying doesn't really add anything at all.

After repeated 19th century wars between Germany and France , France still demanded that confiscatory terms of surrender be imposed on Germany after the 20th century's First World War . Then the Second World War happened .

After failing to invest in education and infrastructure in Afghanistan after arming the Mojahadin against the invading Soviet Union in the 80’s, America neglected to make the same investments after later Middle Eastern military campaigns. Then rose The Taliban and Al Qaeda.

After Stalin’s brutal regime of secret police and leader worship, Cuban revolutionaries allowed their charismatic revolutionary leader to seize absolute power. A Castro still holds a seat of dictatorial power in Cuba.

It may be common sense that all of the good things and all of the bad things about people, and the way that we organize ourselves, are simply going to breed patterns as we continue to make history as a species. It may be that we are simply given to a certain irrationality which leads us down paths, some disastrous, again and again.

Santayana also said of human nature, "Only the dead have seen the end of war." Santayana, who famously disagreed with his contemporaries like William James , died in Rome in 1952. After leaving the United States , he became generally critical of American society, though such criticism was separate from his system of philosophy.

Consider what humorist and writer Mark Twain famously said on the matter: "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."


A History of Independence Day

When the initial battles in the Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775, few colonists desired complete independence from Great Britain, and those who did were considered radical.

By the middle of the following year, however, many more colonists had come to favor independence, thanks to growing hostility against Britain and the spread of revolutionary sentiments such as those expressed in the bestselling pamphlet 𠇌ommon Sense,” published by Thomas Paine in early 1776.

On June 7, when the Continental Congress met at the Pennsylvania State House (later Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, the Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies’ independence.

Amid heated debate, Congress postponed the vote on Lee’s resolution, but appointed a five-man committee—including Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and Robert R. Livingston of New York—to draft a formal statement justifying the break with Great Britain.

Did you know? John Adams believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest. Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826—the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of Lee’s resolution for independence in a near-unanimous vote (the New York delegation abstained, but later voted affirmatively). On that day, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that July 2 “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival” and that the celebration should include “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.”

On July 4th, the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, which had been written largely by Jefferson. Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, from then on the 4th became the day that was celebrated as the birth of American independence.


We Make History

The American Heritage Festival is a grand scale, highly interactive educational presentation of diverse civilian and military aspects of historic American life from Colonial Days through the 20th century as portrayed by a large and experienced cast of historical interpreters assembled from around the country.

We are the largest and most diverse educational living history event in the Western United States, with something of interest for everyone. We also feature Arizona's original and largest display and battle reenactment of the American Revolution. Come, learn and be inspired!

Included are reenactments, dramatic portrayals of both famous and everyday men, women, children, musicians, artisans, craftsmen, singers, colonists, pioneers, soldiers and more ranging from Early America, Colonial times, the American Revolution and the Founding Fathers through Frontier and Pioneer days, the Civil War, the Old West and on into the 20th century and the World Wars. An 18th century style church service in the fields based on the "Great Awakening" (Saturday only), speeches by famous Americans of the past, live historic music, an historic fashion show, historic medical demonstrations, interactive children's activities and of course battle reenactments are just a few of the many special features. Historic men, women and children are portrayed in diverse roles with something of interest to all. The American Heritage is family friendly and nonpolitical.

We plan to be open Thursday, November 18th and Friday, November 19th for pre-registered school groups only.

We also plan to be open for a Homeschool Day on Saturday, November 20th.

Tentative Schedule for Thursday, November 18th and Friday, November 19th, 2021

(NOTE: Open Only to Pre-Registered School Groups.)

9:00AM: Open
9:00AM - 12:30PM: Ongoing self-guided tour through American History visiting persons, displays and interactive exhibits covering many diverse and interesting facets of American life ranging from Early America through the 20th century.
12:30PM: Revolutionary War Battle
1:00PM: Close

Planned Schedule for Saturday, November 20th, 2021:

10:30AM: Great Awakening Church Service of the 1740s (HQ Tent)

11:15AM: Music of Early America (HQ Tent)

12:00PM: Revolutionary War Battle (Battlefield)

12:45PM: General George Washington (HQ Tent)

1:30PM: Historic Fashion Presentation (HQ Tent)

2:30PM: Civil War Battle (Battlefield) followed by Civil War Medical Demonstration (Medical Tent)

3:30PM: Music of 1861 & 1961 (HQ Tent)

Ongoing from 10-4:30: Tour through American History visiting persons, displays and interactive exhibits covering many diverse and interesting facets of American life ranging from Early America through the 20th century.

Safety & Security - Please Read

Schnepf Farms is a farm and event site with grass, dirt, dust, potential allergies and potentially uneven ground. Persons attending Schnepf Farms and the American Heritage Festival voluntarily do so at their own risk.

For everyone's safety and security ONLY our Registered Living History Team members and event staff are allowed in the event in historic attire.

Certain historic items may be handled while others are show-and-tell and not for handling. Please always ask first.

Attendees may not bring in weapons of any kind.

We do not allow alcoholic beverages, smoking or vaping.

The American Heritage Festival is a family friendly event. Those attending this event are gracious, respectful and interested in creative education for young people. For everyone's safety and security. We do not accept hostile behaviour or communications that include abusive, insulting, hateful, disparaging, vulgar or threatening language. Nor do we allow those to attend or participate who engage in such. Any persons whom we deem to be violators in this regard will be banned without refund.

Please be aware that the American Heritage Festival is a rain or shine event. We do not offer refunds.

We thank everyone for their support as we press on and move forward in serving families, students and communities through inspirational education.

At this time Arizona is "open" with no restrictions on outdoor events. Things are looking good for November 2021!

This section will be updated according to any future developments.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. Senior citizens and those with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable.

Please note that by visiting Schnepf Farms and the American Heritage Festival, you voluntarily assume all risks, including risks related to potential exposure to Covid-19.


8 Ways to Make MS History More Meaningful

By Sarah Cooper

At the end of every year, like so many history teachers, I regret simply skimming the surface of the past. Three weeks, and there went India.We spent half a day on Emperor Ashoka, and I completely glossed over the Mauryan Empire.

Should I have devoted more time to Andrew Jackson and less to Abraham Lincoln? And how can my students possibly go through their teenage years, let alone adulthood, without fully processing the achievements of women such as Jane Addams and Hildegard of Bingen?

I think I’ve perfected the “oh well” half smile and apologetic shoulder shrug in response to my students’ desire to dive deeper into history.

“Will we get to the Byzantine Empire this year? We never get to the Byzantine Empire,” says Jackson, an especially eager new ninth grader who is looking at the world history syllabus with mild skepticism. “We will, for a couple of days in March,” I say, smiling and shrugging, mentally robbing Rome to pay Constantinople. Maybe we could carve out one class period to create mosaics that imitate the stags and ostriches of Byzantine art.

Another year, in an eighth-grade U.S. history class, Gianna asks, “How does Thomas Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican Party relate to politics today?”

What a great question – and what a thoughtful invitation to veer from my lesson plan on Hamilton and Jefferson. My students need to know the history of American political parties, but they also need to make relevant connections to contemporary issues.

Our weekly current events discussions only hint at the intricacies of today’s government. Could I squeeze in a modern-day political debate at the end of the Early Republic unit?

As we discuss modern political systems in a seventh-grade global cultures class, Camilla wonders why Communism was so appealing, anyway. This I can answer succinctly – “Wouldn’t you like everything to be equal, at least in theory?” – before moving back to our conversation comparing capitalism, Communism, and fascism.

But when I catch my breath after school that day, I kick myself for giving so little time to such a grand question. Maybe we could do a ten-minute simulation of what it might be like to live in a land where the government gives everyone a job and an income.

The bane of the history teacher’s existence is coverage. The middle grades social studies curriculum is invariably a mile wide and an inch deep, making it difficult to do justice to the subject and to our students. So we trudge on, moving like exhausted soldiers determined to keep up with the general’s plan for advancement.

We are dedicated, but many of us wonder if there is a better way. Can we tap into our students’ curiosity about the world around them without dulling their senses through content overload? Can we probe more of the mysteries and miseries of global cultures and still prime our students’ passion for activism and their hope for the future? Yes, we can. The solution, I believe, lies in the search for meaning through personal connections to history.

Goals: Finding a personal connection

Four years into teaching middle school world and U.S. history, influenced by the ideas of Understanding by Design (Wiggins and McTighe 2001), I started asking myself at the beginning of a chapter: what do I want my students to know and be able to do with this information? Such a big-picture approach helped me create more meaningful assignments that generated measurable knowledge. Instead of just putting together interesting bits of material, I began to understand how to visualize the beginning, middle, and end of a unit.

After several years of these small steps, I felt comfortable expanding this emphasis on specific goals to an entire course, asking myself two guiding questions: (1) who are my students now? and (2) what do they need to learn to become conscientious and knowledgeable adults?

Our students are middle schoolers

In all teaching, but especially in the identity-forming crucible of middle school, the student is as important as the material human development parallels academic development. Middle-schoolers focus on themselves, wanting to know how their studies relate to their lives.

Passionate people, they want to harness their enthusiasm to change the world for the better. They crave movement and physical expressions of learning. Joyful and humorous human beings, they pride themselves on seeing the fun in most any situation. Like all of us, they want to feel appreciated and competent and useful. The history we teach reaches them best when it involves novelty, humor, meaning, a sense of self, and a connection to the real world.

History students need symphonic skills

The vast majority of our students will not become professional historians. In their careers, however, they will need to know how to find valid information, analyze it from multiple perspectives, and communicate it clearly. In a world that New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has famously reminded us is increasingly “flat” (Friedman 2006), our students also will need to distinguish themselves with creative approaches and critical thinking.

Such abilities stretch far beyond traditional expectations of memorization and regurgitation. Students will need qualities that business writer Daniel Pink calls symphony, “putting the pieces together” so they encompass more than the sum of their parts story, crafting tales that influence people empathy, sensing what others are feeling and meaning, connecting to deeper values that underlie our everyday lives (Pink 2006, 66–67).

When working with students who may not immediately see the value in becoming historians, how can we guide them toward exciting discoveries and meaningful relationships while still focusing on academic standards and curricular mandates? The best answer I’ve found is to teach under the shelter of broad themes and global concepts, conveying ideas that connect content across topics and grade levels.

With this approach, students are not focusing on the tiny details of history, although facts remain crucial to effective argumentation. Instead, adolescents see history through the eyes of individuals and then move outward to larger implications and patterns. One of the best places to begin is with the personal, for who isn’t interested in learning why and how we have come to live as we do?

Goals for Middle School History

All of my teaching is rooted in state and national standards. Here I want to emphasize the larger goals of teaching middle school history, which bring the standards to life.

1. The Role of the Individual: Assessing Who Makes History

I begin my history classes each year by telling students, “You will all make history.” Focusing on notable individuals of the past helps students envision how they, too, can influence the future and use their burgeoning power effectively. Such strategies personalize the content.

2. How Opinions Become History: Analyzing Point of View

Recognizing point of view can be as simple as flipping through an eighth grader’s diary entry or as complex as deciphering a New Deal historian’s sanitized treatment of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. By examining a variety of primary and secondary sources, including textbooks, students can understand the motives of historical and contemporary people. Considering perspective also helps students come to terms with the complexities of history: nothing is as simple as the textbook might have you believe.

3. Fighting Words: Examining Rhetoric, Reasoning, and the Role of Language

History comes alive most vividly through the words of people who lived it. Writing is a source of inspiration and power. By inspecting speeches, letters, and diaries, students can explore the power of literature to move people—not to mention their own ability to effect change through a letter to the editor or a political poster. Fictional sources also can engage students’ emotions and encourage intuitive leaps.

4. A Broader View: Finding Patterns in the Past

After students have examined personal connections, point of view, and the role of language in history, they can move beyond an individual’s scope to the wider blueprints of the past. This category evokes more traditional history teaching about chronology, geography, government, and economics. However, starting with a personal reference and then expanding the discussion, such as presenting Theodora’s speech to Justinian during the Nika rebellion before investigating Byzantine politics, can help students understand global relationships on an approachable scale. They can ask themselves,where do my ancestors and I fit into these patterns?

5. How Historians Think: Writing as a Way of Understanding

Students can examine and further understand what they think about history by pulling together their ideas into analytical paragraphs and essays. Such high-level synthesis goes to the core of what real historians do: examine primary sources and make a case for a point of view.

6. Current Events: Connecting Past to Present

With a foundational knowledge of analytical writing and the broad patterns that link historical events, students can compare the past to the present in greater depth. Teachers can build students’ understanding by forging strong, personal ties to the curriculum. Individuals and institutions intertwine: just as students’ grandparents affect their lives, society’s past actions shape today’s domestic and foreign policies.

7. The Power of Information: Igniting Passion Through Research

We can plant the seeds of historical research early on in a course, such as when we ask students to consult biographical sources to understand the motivations of historical figures. Later, after students have integrated the first six goals into their mental framework, we can introduce more expansive projects. Guided, independent research helps students become creators of knowledge, not simply receivers or manipulators of information, and shows them how to explore the world and their potential role in shaping it.

8. Global Citizenship: Learning to Evaluate Ethics and Solve Problems

Moving from the individual’s role in history, we can show our middle schoolers how to use this knowledge to take action. Encouraging students to direct their passions toward civic activism is the essence of character development. It gives young adolescents a chance to make their own history.

History at all levels and in all units poses moral questions to students. Sometimes such inquiries can kick off a chapter in the textbook or the school year, while at other times these dilemmas require students to plunge into additional research. This final goal strives to foster engaged citizens who are ready to lead and equipped to direct their newfound skills toward local, national, and global change.

Planning the sequence: Where to start

History in the middle grades often throws too many ingredients into the soup. Depending on the particular state standards involved, teachers may be expected to address ancient, medieval, and modern world history early and modern U.S. history geography current events economics and often state history as well. Mindful of this potential hodgepodge, in my book Making History Mine, I show how to use these goals and lessons within any secondary grade span or subject.

Many of these goals are recursive: they come back again and again within a particular unit and throughout the year. I’ve often found it a good rule of thumb to begin with the first three goals, focusing on the individual, before building up to the larger patterns and connections of the last five themes. Introductory hooks at the beginning of a lesson or a unit will grab students’ attention because of the personal relationships established.

However, a unit will work just as well if we start with the big ideas, such as geography or chronology, and then zoom in toward the people affected by these larger trends. Much depends on your students: their background knowledge, their attention span, their interests, and their skills.

In the past decade, I have taught both middle school and high school classes, from geography and current events to world and U.S. history. I’ve used the lessons and strategies mentioned throughout the book at all levels, including the time-crunched space of an AP U.S. history class. Appealing to skills-based and identity-related standards can work for any student in any grade.

Sarah Cooper teaches eighth-grade U.S. history and is co-dean of faculty at Flintridge Preparatory School in La Canada, California. She lives just outside Los Angeles with her husband and two sons. She is the author of two books, Making History Mine: Meaningful Connections for Grades 5-9 (from which this post is adapted) and Creating Citizens, which further explores the connections among social studies and current events. (MiddleWeb readers can use the code MWEB1 for a 20% discount.)


Famous Quotes About History

Read these famous history quotes and get drawn into the realms of the past.

Voltaire
"History is only the register of crimes and misfortunes."

Napoleon Bonaparte
"What is history but a fable agreed upon?"

Karl Marx
"History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce."

Thomas Jefferson
"I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past."

John Maynard Keynes
"Ideas shape the course of history."

William Shakespeare
"There is a history in all men's lives."

Mark Twain
"The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice."

Henry David Thoreau
"It is remarkable how closely the history of the apple tree is connected with that of man."

Alexander Smith
"I go into my library and all history unrolls before me."

Robert Heinlein
"A generation which ignores history has no past and no future."

Marshall McLuhan
"Only the vanquished remember history."

Mohandas Gandhi
"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history."

Stephen Covey
"Live out of your imagination, not your history."

Martin Luther King, Jr.
"We are not makers of history. We are made by history."

Dwight D. Eisenhower
"Things have never been more like the way they are today in history."


The word “historian” is a relatively unambiguous word. It means simply a man who tries to write history. But the word “history” is thoroughly ambiguous. It may refer to events which have taken place in the past or it may refer to the written record of those events.

There are several main criteria for determining whether a source is reliable or not.

  1. 1) Accuracy. Verify the information you already know against the information found in the source.
  2. 2) Authority. Make sure the source is written by a trustworthy author and/or institution.
  3. 3) Currency.
  4. 4) Coverage.

Stars react to presidential inauguration: 'Today, we make history'

Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Film, television and music stars like Mindy Kaling, Bebe Rexha, Eva Longoria and more have commented on Wednesday's presidential inauguration for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Biden became the 46th president of the United States after taking the oath of office on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol.

Harris has become the first woman and first woman of color in U.S. history to be sworn in as vice president.

"I was at work, but apparently she said: 'Is that mommy? It looks like mommy.' Best compliment I ever got! It matters. Happy Inauguration everyone," Kaling said on Instagram, alongside an image of her three-year-old daughter Katherine watching Harris on a television screen.

"Brown girls no longer just dreaming," Shonda Rhimes said on Instagram, alongside a photo of her family watching the event.

"Just wanna let you know. It's never too late to chase your dreams. Joe Biden in 78 and is becoming the president of the United States today. Don't give up," Rexha said on Twitter.

Just wanna let you know. It's never too late to chase your dreams. Joe Biden is 78 and is becoming the president of the United States today. Don't give up.&mdash Bebe Rexha (@BebeRexha) January 20, 2021

"Hey Everybody, today we're ALLLL good! God bless you REAL good @joebiden & @kamalaharris ! Our country in your hands is a great good thing! Amen, Amen, and AMEN! #inauguration #theywalkeduptheweststeps #sayitagain," Angela Bassett said on Instagram, alongside a photo of the U.S. Capitol.

"Today, we make history! Today, we celebrate leaders like President @joebiden and our first Madam Vice President, @kamalaharris. Today is only the beginning," Longoria said on Instagram, alongside a photo of herself with Biden.

"Sooooo much work to do. But TODAY I want to celebrate. And pray. And revel in our tremendous power (even against all odds) to make history happen," Kerry Washington said on Twitter.

Sooooo much work to do. But TODAY I want to celebrate. And pray. And revel in our tremendous power (even against all odds) to make history happen.&mdash kerry washington (@kerrywashington) January 20, 2021

"hello @joebiden I have been blocked by the president for four year can I get a follow plz," Chrissy Teigen said on Twitter.

hello @joebiden I have been blocked by the president for four years can I get a follow plz&mdash chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) January 20, 2021


Political Intelligence

In addition to helping us understand who we are, history helps us become informed, active citizens of the world (and of our home countries). As I&aposve stated before, history is "collective memory." It shows us who we are as a group: our past, our values, and our hopes. Knowing this collective memory is a key to becoming an informed citizen.

And being an informed citizen is essential to a democratic society. It encourages people to actively participate and debate, helping to refine our core beliefs and, possibly, challenge old beliefs that are no longer relevant. As Etieene Gilson states, "History is the only laboratory we have in which to test the consequences of thought."

In this way, history helps us to understand current events. Why was there a war in Iraq and why did it matter to countries on the other side of the world? Why did such a regime ever exist, and should it have been allowed to exist for so long? We must look to history𠅊nd into how religion, politics, environment, and colonialism shaped the Middle East—to understand why such events are accepted and why people believe that religion and politics should mix.


“History is who we are and why we are the way we are”

The title quote is from historian David McCullough and is a favorite of Oregon Historical Society (OHS) Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk. Such belief in history’s power to help us comprehend dangerous and fractious presents — in all their heartbreak and opportunity — is what drives so many of our colleagues in the work of preserving the past and making it accessible to everyone. That work requires vision — which for OHS includes a belief that we foster a better future through an Oregon story that is meaningful to all Oregonians — and we believe it also requires cultural humility and a willingness to change our minds, as outlined in OHS’s 2019 – 2023 Strategic Plan. Today, looking at my state and my nation, significant questions about who we are and about why we act in particular ways are at the forefront of my mind.

Why is the impact of COVID-19 felt disproportionately by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities in Oregon and across the nation? Why has an officer of the law once again responded to a Black man’s cries of “I can’t breathe” — this time George Floyd, like Eric Garner before him (and perhaps many others not captured on video) — by continuing to choke off that man’s source of air, of life? Why did police officers break into the home of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency room technician, with a battering ram after midnight, evidently not anticipating that someone inside might view them as intruders, firing upon them and prompting, in turn, their firing upon and killing Taylor? Why have the vast majority of police officers who perpetrate such killings not been called to justice by our legal system? Why has the pain, fear, and fury at the reality of life’s being so dangerous for Black people in America once again been met with — and erupted into — rage and violence?

There are, of course, many questions about the whys of our present moment, but I am certain that I am not alone in finding that their theme is all too familiar. And, so, I turn to history. It is my good fortune that my vocation requires reading, listening to, amplifying, cultivating, and publishing the voices of scholars and community knowledge-holders. From the cornerstone of our research library and museum collections to the new scholarship we publish every three months in the Oregon Historical Quarterly to the exhibits, school group tours, and public discussions with academics, elders, and leaders — OHS is always building, protecting, and sharing history, that tremendous resource for answering the urgent and necessary questions of our time.

We share here some of the products of that work, which have been especially valuable to OHS staff-members during the past week, as we seek understanding both about how we came to be the way we are and how that knowledge might give us the tools to build a better future.


Watch the video: Noe laver historie:D (May 2022).


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