History of the University of California, Los Angeles
The history of University of California, Los Angeles starts in 1919, when the Southern Branch of the University of California, which was created by the State Legislature, took over the facilities of Los Angeles branch of the Los Angeles State Normal School. After moving to its new campus in Westwood in 1929, it was renamed UCLA and has since expanded to become a leading world university.
- 1 Beginnings
- 2 UCLA during World War II
- 3 UCLA in the McCarthy Era
- 4 The California Master Plan
- 5 The Charles Young era
- 6 A new century
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 External links
State Normal School (1881-1919)
In March 1881, after heavy lobbying by Los Angeles residents, the California State Legislature authorized the creation of a southern branch of the California State Normal School (now San Jose State University) in downtown Los Angeles to train teachers for the growing population of Southern California. The State Normal School at Los Angeles opened on August 29, 1882, on what is now the site of the Central Library of the Los Angeles Public Library system. The new facility included an elementary school where teachers-in-training could practice their teaching technique on real children. In 1887, the school became known as the Los Angeles State Normal School.
Southern Branch (1919-1927)
In 1914, the school moved to a new campus on Vermont Avenue in Hollywood. In 1917, UC Regent Edward A. Dickson, the only regent representing the Southland at the time, and Ernest Carroll Moore, Director of the Normal School, began working together to lobby the State for the second University of California campus, after Berkeley. On May 23, 1919, their efforts were rewarded when Governor William D. Stephens signed Assembly Bill 626 into law, which turned the school facilities into the Southern Branch of the University of California and added its general undergraduate program, the College of Letters and Science. The Southern Branch campus opened on September 15 of that year, offering two-year undergraduate programs to 250 Letters and Science students and 1,250 students in the Teachers College, under Moore's continued direction. The school newspaper, Cub Californian, athletics, student government, and Greek chapters were quickly organized in the first year at the Vermont location.
UCLA Bruins (1927)
In 1923, third and fourth year instruction was approved for the College of Letters and Science, after a political struggle with UC president Barrows and several Northern California regents who preferred that Berkeley remain the sole upper-division degree granting institution. In 1925, the Southern Branch awarded its first Bachelor of Arts degrees to 100 women and 24 men.
Enrollment expanded so rapidly that by 1925 the institution had outgrown the 25-acre (100,000 m2) Vermont Avenue location by 3000 students. The Regents conducted a search for a new location and announced their selection of the "Beverly Site"—in an as yet undeveloped 383-acre (1.55 km2) area just west of Beverly Hills—on March 21, 1925. As the Regents decreed the new site must be a gift or come without cost, the owners of the estate, the Janss brothers, agreed to sell the property for approximately $1 million, less than one-third the land's value. Municipal bond measures passed by Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and Venice provided for that amount. Proposition 10, a state bond measure passed that year, provided $3 million for new campus construction (as well as 3 million for construction at Berkeley).
The athletic teams entered the Pacific Coast Conference in 1926, under the name "Grizzlies," but after it was pointed out that the University of Montana played under this name much inconclusive debate took place over what the new campus mascot should be. In 1927, the student council adopted the nickname "Bruins", a name offered by the student council at Berkeley. That same year, the Regents renamed the school itself the "University of California at Los Angeles." (The word "at" was officially replaced by a comma in 1953.)
Moore broke ground on the new campus in Westwood on September 27, 1927. The original four buildings were the College Library, Royce Hall, the Physics-Biology Building, and the Chemistry Building (presently Powell Library, Royce Hall, the Humanities Building, and Haines Hall, respectively), arrayed around a quadrangular courtyard on the 400 acre (1.6 km²) campus. George W. Kelham of San Francisco was the supervising architect, assisted by David Allison of the Los Angeles firm Allison & Allison. Allison, who was also the designer of the Vermont Avenue campus, envisioned the Romanesque style of the Westwood campus. The neighboring communities of Westwood Village and Bel Air were developed alongside the university. (The original Vermont campus became home to Los Angeles City College.)
The first undergraduate classes on the new campus were held in 1929 with 5,500 students. (Glenn T. Seaborg was a member.) Also in 1929, the Bruin and Trojan football teams met for the first time, with the Bruins losing 76-0. The first building dedicated to housing was built in the early 1930s. Titled Hershey Hall, the building was named after Almira Hershey who willed $300,000 to UCLA to have the dorm built. The emergence of the Great Depression slowed down but did not halt UCLA's development. A Southern section of the UC faculty Academic Senate was voted on in 1931 and organized in 1932. In 1933, after intense lobbying by alumni, faculty, administration and community leaders, UCLA was permitted to award the Master's degree, and in 1936, the doctorate, against resistance from Berkeley.
The UCLA student body in those years quickly gained a radical reputation. In 1934, Provost Ernest Moore declared UCLA "the worst hotbed of communism in the U.S", and suspended five members of the ASUCLA student government for allegedly "using their offices to assist the revolutionary activities of the National Student League, a Communist organization which has bedeviled the University for some months." The incident leading to this action was the student government's negotiation of a request by Celeste Strack, student member of the NSL, to hold a student forum on issues pertaining to the upcoming gubernatorial contest, after Moore had already refused her and requested ASCULA not to entertain her request. Over 3,000 students gathered to protest in Royce Quad, and a campus police officer, attempting to silence the speakers, was thrown into some bushes. The crowd dispersed before any arrests were made, and University President Robert Sproul later reinstated the students, but not before a vigilante group of 150 athletes calling themselves "UCLA Americans" had formed, pledging to "purge the campus of radicals."
In 1934, UCLA received its first major bequest—still one of the most generous in its history—the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library. The rare books and manuscripts collection includes some of the world's largest collections of English literature, history, and fine printing.
The enrichment of the library and development of graduate studies allowed for additional colleges and professional schools at UCLA. The College of Commerce (later the graduate School of Business Administration) was established in 1935. In 1939 the School of Education replaced the Teachers College, and the College of Applied Arts (later the College of Fine Arts) was established.
UCLA during World War II
The December 7, 1941 airstrike on Pearl Harbor immediately put the campus on a wartime basis. Faculty adjusted the curriculum and academic schedule to assist students entering military service. A student defense committee, later called the Student War Board, was organized to coordinate emergency services. Japanese-American students issued a statement that read, "None of us have known loyalty to any country than America. We stand ready with other Americans to act in whatever capacity we may be called upon to perform in order to carry out the resolution of our government.".
President Sproul immediately established a University War Council, and with the year an "Engineering, Science and Management War Training" program in industrial sciences was established at UCLA, which trained workers in defense industries. UCLA became responsible for Project 36 of the Manhattan Project, that of purchasing and inspecting equipment for the scientists at Los Alamos. In conjunction with these projects, the UCLA College of Engineering was established in 1943.
Enrollment in ROTC, which had been established early in UCLA's history (1920) and accommodated for more the one third of the male student body by 1940, actually tapered off through the 1940s, in favor of development of special units. These were:
- An advanced training program in meteorology for Army, Navy, Weather Bureau and commercial airline personnel.
- The 1943 establishment of several Army Specialized Training Units at UCLA, the largest being for language and geography area specialists.
Male enrollment at UCLA dropped from 5107 before the war to 2407 the year after. When Provost Earl Hendrick, UCLA's chief executive officer at the time, resigned in 1942, no new provost was appointed to replace him, and UCLA was administered by an interim faculty committee until 1945. Fraternity houses became cadets quarters. Athletic programs continued but were curtailed. Gasoline was rationed, and many drove to and from campus in car pools. Blood drives, scrap collections, War bond sales, and fruit harvesting became normal extracurricular activities. Students and faculty planted vegetable "Victory Gardens" as a way to be patriotic and relieve scarcity.
A service banner hung for 4 years in Kerckhoff Hall. By the end of the war on Tuesday, August 15, 1945, it held 5,702 stars, of which 151 were gold for the Bruins who lost their lives. (These totals, however, were inaccurate. Actual totals were higher.)
Before the war ended, veteran students on the G.I. Bill began to trickle in at UCLA. President Sproul created an Office of Veteran's Affairs at UCLA in 1945, which helped ease the transition from military life to academic existence. By 1947, veterans accounted for 43% of the total student body.
Post-war building boom
The end of the war lead to a building boom on campus. A deep arroyo, once spanned by an elegant bridge between Royce quad and the administration building, was filled in with 400,000 cubic yards (310,000 m3) of earth to create 26 acres (110,000 m2) additional of usable land, upon which Schoenberg Hall, the Architecture building, Bunche Hall, and the Murphy Sculpture Garden were eventually built. The last Allison-designed building constructed was the Business and Economics building, which later became the Social Welfare building. In 1948, Walter Wurdeman and Welton Becket succeeded Allison as chief architects, and as Italian Romanesque was considered too expensive, further construction on campus took on a more modern tone, although elements of Alison's architecture, the brick walls, tile roofs and stone trim, were retained throughout.
In conjunction with the building boom, the UCLA Medical and Law Schools were established in 1946 and 1947, respectively. The department of Theater Arts was also established in 1947. By 1950, the number of veterans began to decline, but total student enrollment reached a new high of 14,318 students.
UCLA in the McCarthy Era
With the rise of the anti-Communist Red Scare in the late 1940s, the UC system became suspected of harboring un-American activities. The Regents on March 25, 1949 had adopted a policy which required all faculty and staff to swear a loyalty oath that disavowed membership in the Communist Party. At a special session of the UC Academic Senate's Northern Section, Edward C. Tolman argued that the policy violated academic freedom and should be rescinded. The Senate, however, voted to request that the controversial oath be "deleted or revised." By August 1950, 36 faculty of Senate rank and 62 non-Senate UC employees were dismissed for refusing to sign the loyalty oath, including three from UCLA: John Caughey, History; Charles L. Mowat, History; and David S. Saxon, Physics. (While the state Supreme Court, in 1952's Tolman vs. Underhill, decided that the Regents did not had the power to compel loyalty oaths, in a separate case decided the same day it affirmed the power of the Legislature to require loyalty oaths of all state employees, and ordered the faculty non-signers to be reinstated only on the condition they sign the state's oath.)
On Oct 21, 1950, the magazine Saturday Evening Post published "UCLA's Red Cell: Case History of College Communism," an article by free-lance writer William Worden, which asserted that leftist student activists had tried to control meetings, propagandize within the columns of the Daily Bruin, distribute literature, file charges of racial discrimination, organize picket lines and incite riots. Worden estimated that one out of each 400 UCLA students were involved in such practices, but the only faculty member the California Un-American Activities Committee said was a member of the Communist party was a woman who played piano for physical education classes in the women's gym.
In response to these controversies, when Provost Dykstra died in 1950, the Regents sought to install someone who would dispel the "hotbed of Communism" stigma at UCLA. After an 18-month search, they selected Raymond B. Allen, head of the Psychological Strategy Board in Washington, D.C. Formerly the president of University of Washington, he was noted for having purged three Communists from employment there in the late 1940s. He said that academic freedom:
consists of something more than merely an absence of restraints placed upon the teacher by the institution that employs him. It demands as well an absence of restraints placed upon him by his political affiliations, by dogmas that stand in the way of a free search for truth or by rigid adherence to a "party line" that sacrifices dignity, honor and integrity to ... political ends.
Allen was also selected because he held an MD and had organized the schools of medicine and dentistry at UW. As the UCLA Medical Center, the largest single building project in UC history at that time, was being constructed, three allied schools of Nursing, Dentistry, and Public Health were also initiated.
Up until the mid-50s, postwar construction had been financed on tax surpluses accumulated during World War II and the Korean War. After those surpluses ran out, further construction was financed on state bond issues. However, the state at that time would not finance student housing, and UCLA comprised 17,000 students with only Hershey Hall (originally constructed in 1930 as a 129 bed women's dorm) accommodating any students on campus. So the Regents floated a loan from the federal government to build Dykstra Hall and Sproul Hall on the hill west of the athletic fields. They opened in 1959 and 1960, respectively. The UCLA Faculty Club assessed their membership $100 apiece and floated a loan from the Regents to build the Faculty Center, which was completed in 1959. Ackerman Union was also built from a Regents loan paid for by fees self-assessed by students in this period.
Early research apparatus
For the first two decades of its existence, UCLA was oriented towards training educators and toward the liberal arts. With the establishment of graduate studies and professional schools, the school gradually became more oriented toward scientific research. The School of Medicine was developed primarily as a research institution, the first of its kind on the West Coast. SWAC, one of the nation's first large computers, powered by vacuum tubes, was built at UCLA in 1950. IBM established the Western Data Processing Center at UCLA in 1956, an early support and regional training center for the use of computers for quantitative research. Other primitive computers obtained by the Center for Health Sciences and Department of Engineering were linked with SWAC to form an early Campus Computing Network.
The library was also built up to 1,500,000 volumes, twelfth largest in the United States, and specialized branch libraries began to be established in major buildings on campus.
The first "Golden Age" of UCLA athletics
Henry Russell Sanders, football coach from 1949–57, lead UCLA to 66 victories and a national championship in 1954 until his death in 1958, of a heart attack. John Wooden's basketball teams began to become known. They won four Southern Division titles and were PCC champions three times. "Ducky" Drake's track teams won the PCC and NCAA championships in 1956. Bill Ackerman and J.D. Morgan's tennis teams won five national championships between 1950 and 1956, and the first ever NCAA national championship in volleyball was awarded to UCLA in 1956.
The Pacific Coast Conference Crisis
In the Winter and Spring of 1956, the unfolding of a huge scandal involving payment of student athletes by booster clubs at Pacific Coast Conference universities threatened to break up the UC system. UCLA was fined $93,000 for its involvement and its football team was placed on a three-year probation. Chancellor Allen wanted UCLA to independently break off from the conference, but President Sproul apparently kept him from doing this. Some alumni seriously wanted UCLA to break away from the Northern California Regents and the UC president entirely. The conflict continued until a 1957 UCLA Alumni Association proposal to the Regents was ultimately successful in moving both UCLA and Berkeley out of the PCC by 1959, effectively breaking up the conference.
Relations between the Pacific Coast universities involved remained hostile for at least a decade. Allen himself resigned as Chancellor in 1959, after he was passed over for the UC president's position when Sproul retired. UCLA Vice Chancellor Vern Knudsen was then appointed full Chancellor in the year before his retirement, after 38 years of service, after which Franklin David Murphy, dean of the University of Kansas Medical School, was chosen to be UCLA's next Chancellor.
The California Master Plan
Within the framework of the new California Master Plan for Higher Education, signed into state law in 1959, Chancellor Murphy worked to develop a long-range plan for further development and increased autonomy for UCLA. He rapidly increased the number of interdisciplinary institutes and specialized research centers, including various international area studies centers. He worked with the Regents to increase UCLA's library holdings at a faster pace than Berkeley's library so the two would reach parity. A School of Library Service was instituted in1960, followed by the School of Architecture and Urban Planning in 1966. The quarter system was implemented in 1965.
In 1960, Willard F. Libby, professor of Chemistry, won the first Nobel Prize for science given to a UCLA faculty member, for developing radiocarbon dating. (Alums Ralph Bunche won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950 for peace-keeping efforts in the Middle East, and Glenn Seaborg won in 1951 for the discovery of plutonium at Berkeley.)
More building booms
Bond-financed construction boomed through the 1960s, the biggest building era in UCLA's history; Boelter Hall, the Neuropsychiatric Institute, Marion Davies Children's Clinic, Dickson Art Center, Engineering Reactor, Pauley Pavilion, Rieber and Hendrick residence halls, Knudsen Hall, Life Science Research Units No. 1 and No. 2., Melnitz Hall, six parking structures, Bunche Hall, Slichter Hall, Ackerman Union, University Research Library, Warren Hall, Rehabilitation, Dentistry, Public Health, and the Jules Stein Eye Institute were some of the additions made. Murphy suggested the idea of a sculpture garden in North Campus while this construction was being planned; Jacques Lipchitz's "Song of the Vowels" was the first object acquired in 1965, for $75,000 raised by Regent Norton Simon and the UCLA Art Council.
The second "Golden Age" of UCLA Athletics
In 1964, Coach John Wooden won the first of what would become a nearly uninterrupted series of 10 NCAA basketball championships before he eventually retired in 1975. Tommy Prothro coached the Bruin football team to its first Rose Bowl victory, against Michigan State, in 1966. Quarterback Gary Beban became the first UCLA player to win the Heisman Trophy in 1967. More national championships were won in tennis (1965), track (1966), and volleyball (1965 & 1967), and numerous conference titles were won in other sports.
The Charles Young era
Chancellor Murphy resigned in 1968 to take over as head of the Times Mirror Company. Under his tenure, enrollment had increased to 29,000, $150,000,000 in new buildings were constructed, 1000 new faculty were hired, and UCLA's annual operating budget increased from $14,000,000 to $95,000,000. The Regents selected his right-hand man, Charles E. Young, a graduate of UC Riverside who earned his doctorate and taught in Political Science at UCLA, to be the next UCLA Chancellor. At 36, was the youngest ever chief officer of a UC campus and the first graduate of UCLA to become Chancellor of the campus.
The year before Murphy resigned, student unrest against U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War began to be felt at UCLA, when over 500 students, as part of a nationwide protest organized by Students for a Democratic Society, protested the recruitment of graduates on campus by Dow Chemicals, which produced napalm, an incendiary chemical used in the war. The protests escalated as the war continued.
On January 17, 1969, UCLA students and Black Panther Party members John Huggins, 23, and Bunchy Carter, 26, were slain in Campbell Hall by members of United Slaves, a rival black power organization headed by Maulana Karenga, in a dispute over the leadership of the new African American Studies Center. Federal agents working under the FBI's COINTELPRO program infiltrated both organizations and provoked the conflict between them.
Later in 1969, the UC Regents fired Angela Davis, a radical feminist and lecturer in the Philosophy Department, for openly identifying as a member of the Communist Party USA. Outraged faculty threatened to withhold grades if Davis was not reinstated, and nearly 2,000 students crammed into Royce Hall's auditorium when Davis delivered her first lecture despite the Regents' decision to remove credit for the class. The overflowing audience gave the 25-year-old professor a standing ovation. On October 22, Chancellor Young complied with a State Superior Court order overruling the Regents' decision by restoring course credit to Davis's class. Eight months later, the Regents again dismissed Davis from the UCLA faculty.
Student unrest at UCLA was further exacerbated when President Richard Nixon ordered the invasion of Cambodia and the National Guard fired upon student protesters at Kent State. Hundreds of student protesters marched through campus and vandalized several buildings, including an ROTC building, and part of Murphy Hall. Chancellor Young declared a State of Emergency and summoned the LAPD on campus; 74 arrests were made and 12 people reported injuries. This demonstration and many others at UC campuses throughout the state caused then-Governor Ronald Reagan to shut down the state's colleges and universities for the first time in California's history.
ARPANET, the world's first electronic computer network, was deployed on the UCLA campus by student programmer Charley Kline, at 10:30 p.m, on October 29, 1969 from Boelter Hall 3420. Supervised by Prof. Leonard Kleinrock, Kline transmitted from the university's SDS Sigma 7 Host computer to Douglas Engelbart's lab at Stanford Research Institute, in Menlo Park, California. SDS 940 Host computer. The message text was the word "login"; the "l" and the "o" letters were transmitted, but the system then crashed. Hence, the literal first message over the ARPANET was "lo". About an hour later, having recovered from the crash, the SDS Sigma 7 computer effected a full "login". The first permanent ARPANET link was established on November 21, 1969, between the IMP at UCLA and the IMP at the Stanford Research Institute. By December 5, 1969, the entire four-node network was established.
Turing Award laureate Vinton Cerf was a doctoral student in the computer science department under Kleinrock in the early 1970s and also worked on the ARPANET. He would later team with Bob Kahn in the writing of the seminal 1974 paper A Protocol for Packet Network Intercommunication. This work proved foundational for their later development of the Transmission Control Protocol - TCP/IP protocol.
The 1980s and 1990s
In 1981, the UCLA Medical Center made history when an assistant professor named Michael Gottlieb first diagnosed an unknown affliction later to be called AIDS.
In 1984, UCLA hosted the gymnastics and tennis competitions for the Olympic games and served as an "Olympic village." Also in 1984, the Alumni Association donated the "Bruin Bear" stature on Westwood Plaza.
In 1987, Professor Donald Cram received the Nobel Prize in chemistry, for "host-guest chemistry."
In 1988, Kleinrock chaired a group which produced the report Toward a National Research Network. This report was presented to Congress and was so influential on then-Senator Al Gore that it proved to be the foundation for what would be passed as the High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991, written and developed by Gore. Indeed, funding for the development of Mosaic in 1993, the World Wide Web browser which is often credited as leading to the Internet boom during the mid-1990s, came from the High-Performance Computing and Communications Initiative, a program created by the High Performance Computing Act of 1991., On January 11, 1994, as Vice-President, Gore gave the opening speech for the The Superhighway Summit held at UCLA's Royce Hall. In 2001, Gore joined the faculty of UCLA as a visiting professor in the School of Public Policy and Social Research, Department of Policy Studies, family-centered community building.
Student activism in the 1980s centered primarily on the South African government's apartheid policies, the U.S.'s Central American policy, as well as the implementation of affirmative action in the state. In 1988 poor race relations on campus lead to student riots over the disqualification of Lloyd Monserratt as student body president in a campaign that pitted a coalition of minority students against the candidates put forth by members of the Greek system (this antagonism continues today).
In the 1990s, student activists tended to focus on university and statewide concerns, such as union recognition for graduate teaching assistants, the expansion of the Chicano Studies Center, Proposition 187, which denied social services to illegal immigrants, and Proposition 209, which ended affirmative action in California.
The Northridge quake struck UCLA on January 17, 1994. The thirty second jolt caused significant structural damage to Kerckhoff and Royce Halls. The Medical Center had damage as well as chemical spills. While the campus was undergoing an earthquake retrofit, the quake accelerated efforts to make buildings earthquake resistant.
Charles Young, the longest serving university chancellor in U.S. history, retired in 1997, the same year Prop 209 was implemented. The year before he left, ethnic minority enrollment at UCLA approached 60 percent. The university hosted 120 endowed faculty chairs, 6.7 million volumes in the UCLA Library, and operating expenses approached $2 billion. Extramural funding for research had increased from $66.4 million in 1968-'69 to $406 million in 1995-'96. Private fund-raising likewise flourished, from $6.1 million raised in 1968-'69 to $190.8 million in 1995-'96.
A new century
Activism and complications (2000-2006)
In 1995, 2001, and 2004, Mother Jones magazine named UCLA in its annual listing of the Top 10 Activist Campuses, reflecting the rallying spirit of its student bodies over the years.
The Bruin Republicans held the first affirmative action bake sale protesting racial preferences in 2003, a practice which has been copied by other conservative student groups at universities across the country. In 2006, Andrew Jones, former Bruin Republicans president and Daily Bruin columnist, founded the IRS-recognized non-profit organization known as the Bruin Alumni Association, though the organization is not affiliated with the university, with Bruin Republicans, or with any on-campus student organization. Its stated purpose is to expose the "Dirty Thirty" most liberal professors at UCLA. Controversy developed over Jones' offer of monetary compensation for students who recorded the lectures of faculty members for later exposure on his site.
Between October 2005 and November 2006, an experienced hacker broke into a university database containing approximately 800,000 files of personal information. Names, Social Security Numbers, and basic contact information was contained in these files, but banking numbers were not. On November 21, 2006, the system administrators noticed unauthorized activity and blocked further access to the database. While it was not conclusive whether the hacker used these records to commit identity theft or fraud, it was determined that very few records were actually accessed and even fewer specifics were obtained.
In March 2006 the Regents voted in favor of divestment, becoming the largest university system yet to do so.
The UCLA Taser incident occurred on November 14, 2006, when student Mostafa Tabatabainejad was stunned multiple times by campus police for allegedly refusing to be escorted out of Powell Library, following his refusing to present his BruinCard to a Community Service Officer.
Present day (2007-present)
On May 13, 2007 the Women's Water Polo team beat Stanford University 5-4. The victory gave UCLA its 100th NCAA championship title; it is the first school with this distinction.
In 2009, a student was slashed in the throat in a Chemistry class at UCLA. Damon Thompson of Belize was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. The student was in a pool of blood but was saved by her teaching assistant who slowed down the bleeding.
On July 29, 2014, a nearly century-old water main burst on the section of Sunset Boulevard immediately above campus, sending approximately twenty million gallons of water flooding below. The nearly four hour rush of water caused damage to buildings and athletic facilities, including Pauley Pavilion and the Wooden Center. In addition, several parking structures were partially inundated, trapping nearly 740 cars.
- Stephen W. Cunningham—First UCLA graduate manager and Los Angeles City Council member, 1933–41
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