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One, born on Feb 29, 1904, with the worlds longest name, 746 letters in all.

LeapZeum: Balls, Dances, Parties

Leap Year Balls and Leap Year Dances

Back to the
Leap Year
Leap Year Ball at the Union House, January 1, 1896
Leap Year Ball January 1, 1896
There was a time when you could attend a Leap Year Ball
throughout the whole Leap Year. In some cases, the event
gave women the opportunity to ask a man, of her choice,
for his hand in marriage.

Leap Year Dances were common as well. Here, a woman
may do the asking for a dance. The women attending either
a Leap Year Ball or a Leap Year Dance may ask her man
to marry her. It is "OK" for a woman to ask in a Leap Year.

If a man declines a marriage proposal, in a Leap Year, he
must provide her with a silk dress and a kiss on the cheek.

Often referred to as Sadie Hawkins Day, February 29 is
Leap Day. Sadie Hawkins Day is November 15th. The only
similarities they share are that the girl does the asking.

Norwich University
Northfield Vermont

Leap Year Dance at Dewey Hall Dec 12, 1908
Public Library
Media Gallery 

Leap Year dance invitation:
Leap Year Hop
Thursday Aug 18th
Millbrook Park
The Muncie Sunday Star  -  December 11, 1904

Transcribed by DJ Faust

DUNKIRK SOCIETY EVENT (By Star Special Services) Dunkirk, Ind., Dec. 10-   A pleasant social event of the season will be the leap year dance given by Misses Ivy Breffler, Olive White and Bertha Miller, of this place, Monday evening.  Over 200 invitations have been issued and elaborate preparations are being made for the event.

"New Year's Traditions"
Democratic Advocate, January 5, 1912

Carroll County Times article for 2 January 1994 The next dance of the Assembly will be held on the evening of January 27, and will be a leap-year dance.

Bulletin - Page 14
by Surveyor's Customs Welfare Association A BILL To provide for an event to be known as "A Leap Year Dance" to be given by the Federal Employees' Union, Local No. 7, in the WOW Hall
The Grey Wig: Stories and Novelettes - Page 63
by Israel Zangwill - 1903 - 563 pages 
...and recrossing and bowing, and courtesying and facing and half-turning, before this leap-year dance could end in the solemn Wedding March

Harper's Magazine - Page 501
by Making of America Project, Harper's Magazine Foundation (New York, N.Y.), Henry Mills Alden, Thomas Bucklin Wells, Lee Foster Hartman, Frederick Lewis Allen - 1930

At this Leap Year dance several of us women, by way of revenge, would play billiards, then saunter to the ballroom door and look over the partnerless men ...

Journal of Health, Physical Education, Recreation - Page 52
In the evening a banquet was given to the visiting girls, followed by a leap-year dance at the
gymnasium. Pauline Gabriel, New Mexico State Chairman of ...
Dance Magazine - Page 26
LI Li A-Ste (continued from page II) 4)
In a- leap year dance, however, the girls -should be good sports and execute their new prerogatives ...


Eagles Hall, 415 Broadway, will be the scene of a leap year dance to be held by the Tenth Ward Republican Club, Friday evening. The committee is headed by George Dolan.

The Penn Troubadours will supply the music. Camden Courier - Post - February 26, 1936

West Herr Community Involvement
Last year our individual dealerships supported over 400 organizations from Little League baseball to senior citizens to school bands, in some pretty creative ways. The Saturn stores hosted dozens of scout troops to teach them about vehicle safety and maintenance, our Dansville people helped deliver toys to kids during the December holidays, the Jaguar showroom was transformed by the artwork of a local youth organization, the East Aurora store rolled up the rugs and turned their showroom over to the Boys and Girls Club for a special Leap Year Dance, Toyota took a leadership role in the annual gala for the Alzheimer’s Association and the team over at Chevy-Olds of Orchard Park organized a team of volunteers to help at a fundraising walk for cancer. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

USO  United Service Organization 1941

Leap Year Party Success at USO
With the junior hostesses exercising their traditional once-in-four year prerogative of taking the initiative in asking for dances, and Leap Year formal dance at the US0 last weekend is reported as a huge success. The girls not only asked the servicemen for each dance but formed a stag line and cut in on other girls, in the manner usually reserved for the "stronger'' sex. 

Highlight of the evening was the winning of a long distance call  home by A/S Exra Milliken of Portland, Maine who, by happy coincidence, was celebrating his twenty-first birthday. 

Decorations for the party were carried out in patriotic color scheme of red, white, and blue and were planned with other arrangements for the event, by the lieutenants for the week,
Mary Sonderegeer and Julie Anne Kohlman.

Leap Year Dance Next Saturday at USO Club
A long distance call home for one lucky soldier and the showing of special movies proved high spots of the week's program at the USO. Samuel Jones of Centerville, Tennessee was the lucky winner of the long distance phone call, which will be a feature of every Saturday night's entertainment from now on. The movies were also shown Saturday evening by C. E. Guthrie and included a comic cartoon, pictures of the Battle of Russia, and a Western. Sunday's program included supper and dancing from six to nine o'clock. 

This week end was sponsored by the local chapter of War Dads, whose check for $15 purchased supplies for the regular Sunday evening buffet supper.



A history of the RMDS as compiled by Margaret Newton in 1974

... The Society first came into being in the year of 1911, with a small group of enthusiasts meeting in the old Lecture Hall in Ringwood. The first production was 'The Mandarin', described in the programme as 'A Celestial Comic Opera', given at the Manor House Theatre on February 27 th and 28 th1912. Quoting from the personal diary of one of the lady members of the company:

Feb. 26 th'Dress rehearsal for ‘Mandarin’ - all went well.'
Feb. 27 th'First night! Had to turn people away - charged 1/- each to stand.'
Feb. 28 th'Just as successful - finished up with a Leap Year Dance - Great fun !!'


Town and Country Newspaper
Pennsburg, Montgomery County, PA   Saturday - March 26, 1904


leap year dance at the Sorrel Horse Hotel near Sumneytown, last Thursday evening was one of the most novel social events of the season in that vicinity. The affair was entirely under the management of the young ladies of the vicinity.

Miss FREDERICKS the director of ceremonies, assisted by other members of the fair sex deserves much credit for the manner in which the plans were carried out.

leap year dance differs from a dance given in any other than leap years, only that the conventionalities of ceremonies being reversed, the young  ladies being in duty bound to call for their male friends, escort them to and from the dance, to make the dance engagements, and the ladies are not allowed to dance with one another but gentlemen are, providing they are not invited to dance with one of the fair participants and at the close of the ceremonies the ladies escort the gentlemen to their homes. The affair was pronounced the most successful event of its kind ever held in that hall.


Lifestyle magazine dated February 29, 2004

"For English folks, the leap day was also the day that women could propose marriage to a man.
In the English law, February 29 was ignored and had no legal status..." - This was pretty common in the United States of America as well.

Washington County Historical Society Collection
Historical and personal papers, ledgers, and scrapbooks and other bound material, ca 1833-1995 University of Arkansas Libraries - Fayetteville Events - 
She-Rae March 2004
On Leap Year's Eve we had our first annual UN Ball and it was a HUGE success! We had over 200 guests from various schools and the venue, Kathleen's 5, was wonderful. The theme was "An Evening at the Races" and we also tied in the Leap Year factor, and had a toast at midnight to bring in the 29th (I actually met someone who's birthday is Leap Year, and she is now 7 years old!). It was great working with the other UN heads to put this Ball together, and it was really rewarding to see it turn out so well.
Carnamah Girls Club's

Mad Hatter's Leap Year Ball at the Carnamah Hall on Saturday 29 February 1936
The Louisburg Brass Band 1913-1924

... Even with all this activity the Band did not forget other civic duties in 1916. It was present at the Leap Year Ball held in the Masonic Hall on February 1, ...

HAMILTON HALL Salem, Massachusetts 1805

In its early decades Hamilton Hall was also the setting for auctions, plays, concerts, and charity fairs. Special events included a Charles Dickens Tea Party and a Leap Year Party. The latter was a 19th century version of the Sadie Hawkins dances of recent decades. Men were invited to attend by a woman, and once the dancing began the women took the lead in choosing partners.

The Washington Post January 26, 1896 

Interesting Events Scheduled for the Next Six Days in High Circles.

...A pleasant leap year party was tendered Miss Ida Brahler on Friday evening, in honor of her fifteenth birthday, at her residence, 655 Maryland avenue northeast.  Miss H. Ball performed several fancy dances; Miss West, the accompanist, and Miss E. Miller gave selections on the piano...

...About twenty-five couples met in the Baltimore and Ohio depot on Friday evening, to take the 8:15 train for Langdon, where the young ladies gave a leap year dance and supper.  The young ladies entertained the gentlemen in a delightful manner, which they seemed to thoroughly enjoy. 

McKean County Miner January 31, 1896

Politics - Change of Polling Place - Birth Announcement - Personal Notes 

T he Republican caucus Saturday night was largely attended and the usual strong ticket nominated. The only fault with it is that the second precinct (Gardeau) was out voted and shut out on everything. This is not right, they should be recognized.

The unterrified Democracy held a caucus Monday night and with the assistance of some Republican friends, put a ticket in the field which they didn't do last year.

The petition to have the polling place changed has been granted by the court and election will be
held at Bartlett's hall Colegrove.

R.B.Ford and W.F. Andrews, two of Gardeau's prominent business men, were over here on a hunting trip last Friday.

Several of our young people attended the leap year ball at Clermont last Friday night. 

C.A. Pierce, of Gardeau, was shaking hands with his friends here on Monday.

G.M. Brougham has a brand new leap year girl; weight 10 pounds.
(Editors note: The date of this publication being January 31, 1896 proves that she is just a
Leap YEAR baby, not a Leap DAY Baby. - Raenell)


University of California History
Labor Day 
Labor Day, another Davis tradition adopted from the Berkeley campus, dated from at least 1924. Each Leap Year, on February 29th, Davis faculty and students joined their efforts in various campus improvement projects. The day was organized and sponsored by the Associated Students for such projects as clearing brush away from buildings and painting bleachers.

A.A.'s Country-wide News Circuit

The latest issue of the Newark, N. J., Alanon News (which incidentally was the first anniversary issue) listed for February a card party on the 7th; a Valentine party and dance with a Sweetheart contest on the 14th; a night of games the 21st, and a Leap Year dance with a male popularity contest on the 28th. A dance and chowder party on January 31 was the last of that month's many events. The Alanon Club's television programs draw good attendance, for the boxing bouts on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, and other programs on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The latest addition to the extensive entertainment facilities is a grand piano, a gift to the club.

Committee on Entertainment 1912

Nine wives of firemen were appointed to the Committee on Entertainment on March 5, 1912. Their first duty was to hold a Leap Year Dance on March 22 nd. (By 1917 they were referred to as the Ladies of the Fire Company, which appears to be the beginning of the Women’s Auxiliary.)


1912 Biographical History of Barton County, Kansas

In his letter Dr. Lightfoot says, the custom of having a ball in the evening originated the next year with D. N. Heizer. D. N. was undoubtedly instrumental in promoting the matter, but that same night of which the doctor writes, a big Leap Year ball was given at which the gentlemen were the guests of the ladies. Many of the couples noted in the write-up of the affair were afterwards married to each other, but we expect the ladies will deny that Leap Year had anything to do with the matter.


Arthur Hardy - The World's Foremost Authority on Mardi Gras

The popular Krewe of Proteus debuted in 1882 with a glittering parade that saluted Egyptian Mythology. The Jefferson City Buzzards, the grandfather of all marching clubs, was formed in 1890. The first black Mardi Gras organization, the Original Illinois Club, was launched in 1894. Two years later, Les Mysterieuses, Carnival’s first female group, was founded and presented a spectacular Leap Year ball.

The University of British Columbia
The UBYSSEY February 28, 1928

If the co-eds wear their High Jinks costumes  to the Leap Year Ball, will the men to in their "Smoker" creations?

Nevada's Forgotten Movie Star by David W. Toll

Her name shows up here and there in the paper, hosting visiting relatives from Winnemucca (the Browns and the Hills), attending parties and performing at the piano at the En Hiver leap year dance in 1912 and at the high school art exhibit in March of the next year.

This article was originally published in the December, 1994 edition of Nevada Magazine.

Bethel No. 5  Kirkwood, Missouri,  Kirkwood Masonic Temple

Bethel History:
Fund raisers held by the Bethel included a Gypsy Festival, and presentations of plays. social events included a Leap Year dance, card parties, and swimming parties.

IBEW Local 125 - 1940

History  ... The Waitress Union coordinated a Leap Year Dance at the Labor Temple. There were picnics with softball competitions in the summer at Viking Park.

The San Francisco Chronicle - 1932

Jan. 22: A mystery woman pulls a prank that throws the Peninsula into a spin over the Burlingame Country Club's leap year dance. The event presents the opportunity for women in the community to leave their husbands at home and invite anyone they choose to escort them to the party. It has been the custom for women to invite men who are their age. But the mystery woman made calls and presented herself as a younger woman interested in inviting an older man to the dance.

The Washington PostMonday February 3, 1896, pg. 7
Society Will Trip the Light Fantastic This Week

The leap year dance given by the young ladies of the Washington Barracks Saturday evening was quite the crowning event in military and naval circles of the week, and in the details of which the fair managers scored a great success. With the list of guests, which has already been published in The Post, were all the officers and ladies of the barracks, and a number of other well-known personages.

The young of the smart set of New York have taken up the leap year idea, and in order to pay off some old scores to the exclusive bachelors, will give a fine “Spinsters” ball, February 12.  The cotillion will be led by maidens only, and will be as picturesque as it will be unique.

Three months later, Hicks' band led the Pearl Street parade when the Beaumont Fire Company and the Wiess Hook and Ladder Company laid the cornerstone of the city's first fire engine house in September, 1884. A third group of Beaumont musicians, the Lumbermen's Silver Cornet Band, directed by Mr. A. Ashold, was entertaining periodically at the opera house in 1892. During the 1880s-1890s, two neighboring bands also performed at many Beaumont social events. The First Regimental Band of Orange played for many dances here. The Kountze Brass Band furnished the music for Beaumont's Leap Year Ball of January, 1892. This group, comprised of the employees of the Sunset Sawmill at Olive, two miles north of Kountze, was organized by Sam Barnett and G. A. Sternenberg in 1890, and played frequently in Beaumont during the succeeding decade.
Began as the Young Ladies Reading Room Association (YLRRA) in a private home in 1885. The present site was constructed in 1916 and is located at Fourth Street and Avenue A.  In the years of 1885-1886, the ingenious women of the YLRRA sponsored a splendid assortment of social activities to generate income for the reading room. Fund-raisers included Buttermilk Socials, Milkmaid Carnivals, Card Parties, Leap Year Balls, home talent plays, and a host of other entertainment.
The popular Krewe of Proteus debuted in 1882 with a glittering parade that saluted Egyptian Mythology. The Jefferson City Buzzards, the grandfather of all marching clubs, was formed in 1890. The first black Mardi Gras organization, the Original Illinois Bluc, was launched in 1894. Two years later, Les Mysterieuses, Carnival’s first female group, was founded and presented in a spectacular Leap Year ball.
After the first St. George Social Hall was completed in 1865, dances became quite elegant, as printed invitations and tickets of the period, still preserved, indicate. There were calico balls, baseball benefit dances, leap year balls, ward socials, Christmas benefit balls, ward dinner-dances and banquet dances listed on invitations.
Olive, Hardin County, Texas
An Extinct Sawmill Town and the Olive-Sternenberg Partnership That Built It

Olive itself is quite a little burg, and is supplied with school and church buildings, a hall of the Knights of Honor (a fraternal order), also one for public entertainments. Moreover, it has a newly-organized brass band, consisting of twelve young men of culture and refinement. The members are Sam Barnett, the band leader; V. A. Petty, who plays the B-flat cornet; U. A. Sternenberg, C. F. Sanders, W. Brooks, Arthur Furby, J. Melancon, A. Miller, and J. Miller. The boys, rigged out in their dress suits and beaver hats, look charming, and when they go out to play . . . they become the heroes of the hour and the admiration of the ladies. [For years, the Sunset band played for Beaumont’s annual firemen’s masquerade and leap year balls.]… One always finds here Colonel J. A. Sternenberg, who in his vine-clad home, always extends to his guests that generous hospitality that makes a visit to Olive an unforgotten pleasure.

Source: Osceola Centennial Issue...1851 to 1951,
Osceola Sentinel, August 2, 1951, Section 5, p. 7.
Social Note: It was a gay party that gathered at the home of Miss Ethel Dague at the corner of Cass and Temple streets on the evening of September 30, 1896. It was an occasion long to be remembered, for Milt Gregg brought his camera and newfangled flash pan and took a picture of the crowd at the height of its merry-making! When the smoke from the magnesium powder cleared away and the room was aired out to get the sting of the acrid fumes out of their eyes, the daring game of whist was resumed! Mrs. Archie Wade says it was a Halloween Leap-year party.

Those appearing in the photo are, from left to right in the outside semi-circle: Maude Forney; Fanny Dague (Mrs. O.M. Slaymaker); these two served the refreshments; Will Trent, Blanche Painter, Archie Wade, Bernice Thurston (Mrs. A. F. Wade), A. A. Nowers, Nora Sonner (Mrs. Frank Edwards);

Second row: Eva Mcintire (Galloway), Lou Emery (Mrs. Johnson Richards), Johnson Richards, Jean Bashor, Will Temple, Grace Thompson, Roy Armstrong.

Seated in front: George White and Ethel Dague (Mrs. Roy Armstrong).

Sacramento Bee
Sacramento, Sacramento County, California
Thursday Evening 22 January 1920 page 12

At a meeting of the Del Paso Amusement Club, held last night at the home of S. N. ROBINSON, final arrangements were made for the Leap Year dance to be given at the school, January 24th. Earl EBERLEIN and Conley SMITH were named as floor managers for the affair. The committee in charge announces that every fourth dance on the program will be a "Leap Year" dance.

The Life of Mary Margaret Barlow

... While they were teaching, Margaret asked Newell to a leap year's dance on a dare and he accepted. This was their first date.

Helmsdale Hogmanay - February 11, 1932 
A fancy dress leap year dance (February 11, 1932)

A fancy dress leap year dance was held in Kildonan on the evening of 29th ult. There was a crowded house, and the gay costumes and air of mystery gave a piquancy to the evening.


Madera Tribune California February 17, 2004

One hundred years ago: February 17, 1904

Leap Year Dance
Leap Year Dance was given in Vignolo’s hotel at Berenda last Saturday. The affair was gotten up by the ladies of Berenda, who conducted it in a pleasing manner.

Tales from the Reading Room

... I’ve relished competing with fellow Betsy-Tacy fans in trivia contests. In that context, I actually know the answer to questions like “What dress did Betsy Ray wear to the leap year dance to which she was escorted by Philip Brandish?”

Leap Year Dance Marathon 
Dance Complex, 536 Mass. Ave., Cambridge. 617-547-9363. 2/26: 7 a.m.-7 p.m., workshops for all, from yoga to ballroom. Individual events $5, seniors and under 12 free. 2/26-2/27: 7 p.m.-7 a.m., dance-a-thon with live bands. $10 at the door or $50 in pledges. Proceeds benefit making building handicapped-accessible.
Genoa, Nevada Grand Leap Year Party 
Rice's Hotel February 1, 1884
With These Hands Women Working on the Land
by Joan M. Jensen  February 1896
University of Connecticut
On the activities list is: Leap Year Dance, 1920
Virginia, City Nevada Leap Year Party
National Guard Hall January 22, 1884
Eureka, Nevada Leap Year Ball
Eureka Opera House February 14, 1884
Reno, Nevada Leap Year Party
Armory Hall January 18, 1888
Winnemucca, Nevada Leap Year Party
Centennial Hall February 13, 1888
Miners Union Hall
A Leap Year ball ran at the Miners Union Hall under the auspices of the elite of Neihart, who danced merrily all night. A Leap Year ball also was held at the Park Hotel, including a fine dance and a champagne supper given by the ladies of Neihart.
Browning Newspaper Notes  March 28, 1924
Last Saturday evening Mrs. TE Scriver was hostess to a few friends at her home, the occasion being a farewell party for her mother, Mrs. Macfie who departed Thursday for Montreal, Canada. Cards were played at 7 tables until 11 o’clock, after which a delicious lunch was served. The floor being waxed and in fine shape, the rest of the evening was turned over to the ladies as a 
leap-year dance. Everyone had a delightful time, as they always have with Mrs. Scriver as hostess.

"Leap Year Dance". Klub je imao svoju sekciju učenika bridža, popularne igre kartama u Engleskoj.

Pythian Sisters 
Edgewood Temple #45 
A leap year dance was held in January 1928.
B-13 Norman Andrew Journal
Now it’s February, 1880, and the little town of Taylor is ablaze with preparations for the leap-year dance. Agnes joined a group of young girls who were ...
Sir William McKenzie, Railway King of Canada

From the book, it speaks of a masked ball on December 31, 1903 for the coming Leap Year 1904.



There were lots of activities around the school, of course, you know, and parties and dances
and different things.  They'd have a Leap Year Dance and the girls would ask the fellas this
time instead of the fellas askin' the girls.  So I asked some boy that I knew liked me.  I didn't
ask a guy that was expecting me to ask him.  We doubled and went with another girl, Lyndal,
and Harold Beecher.  We gave them a corsage made of carrots and onions with the tails on
them so you could tie the ribbon on them. I don't know how come goin' home, we didn't.
 Maybe they got a ride with someone. Anyway, the dance was great.  It was lots of fun. So
I walked him home.  And then I was afraid to go home alone and he had to walk me all the
way to my house, then, and go back.  But it was fun.

Henry Handel Richardson

Growing Pains

AND WOMEN MUST WEEP "...And when there was a “leap-year dance” where the ladies ...."

Eva Pendleton Henderson, a member of the historical Chisum family, recounts her life on the windy border country of southern New Mexico in the 1890s when it was still a territory. On page 51, which is where chapter 13 begins, she writes of a Leap Year dance in 1912.
Escondido Elks Lodge:

Members will have a "Leap Year Dance" from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday February 27, 2004 at the lodge, 2430 S. Escondido Blvd., Escondido. Reservations are required. Information: (760) 745-1687.
UINTAH STAKE ACADEMY SCHOOLS SOCIAL EVENTS Vernal_Express:  18 DEC 1908  page 06 column 01

Invitation to Delta Sigma Upsilon Fraternity "Leap Year" Dance." 
The dance took place on February 29, 1924 at the Lochmoor Golf Club in Detroit. The music was provided by "Mertz-Dorsey." 


The Atlantic Medical Weekly 1896

History of Friedrich II of Prussia V 8 by Thomas Carlyle

Crown-Prince had to resume his Kammer work at Custrin, and see the Buildings at Carzig, for a three months longer,
till some arrangements in the Regiment Goltz were perfected, and finishing improvements given to it. But "on the last
day of February" (29th) 1732 being leap-year), his Royal Highness's Commission to be Colonel Commandant of said
Regiment is made out; and he proceeds, in discharge of the same, to Ruppin, where his men lie. And so puts off the
pike-gray coat, and puts on the military blue one, [Preuss, i. 69.]--never to quit it again, as turned out.

Otto Hake Gets Engaged
Among the newspaper clippings that one may find, crumbling and yellowing, in the archives of the P&C are a pair of
articles pertaining to the leap-year wedding engagement of Otto Hake (b. 1876, Ulm, Germany, d. 1965, Chicago).
Here's one of them (date and newspaper unknown):

Palette and Chisel Club Bachelors Otherwise Go Free Because Girls Shyly Ignore Their Rights
The Palette and Chisel Club's leap year dance and proposal bee stung just one bachelor. The
bachelor girls, most of whom were professional models, proved shy.
Otto Haake, an artist, was the single victim of girlish wiles. Miss Olga Ponorska, a Russian art
student and model, who has posed occasionally for Haake, arranged a pillow in front of his chair
and popped down on her knees.
This was the form of her proposal:
"Otto, despite your imbecile smile, your many shortcomings in personal getup and your paucity
of intellect, I love you. Will you be mine?
And Otto in his best manner responded, "Chass!" meaning "yes."

Anna Hansen Hayes - The Early Twin Falls Tract 1904  
The Diaries of Lottie Price
, 1914-1986

February 9, 1940 - Mon & I went to B.O. in eve to the I.O.O.F. dance at the Hall. Good crowd out. Leap Year dance.

The University of British Columbia The UBYSSEY February 23, 1940 The Leap Year Dance


1884 London News Leap Year Ball
1884 London News - Leap Year Ball
Memoir of Frank Russell Firth By Frank Russell Firth Page 93 mentions *leap-year ball*.  


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