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Lubbock ( ) is an Americanmarker city in the state of Texasmarker. Located in the northwestern part of the state, a region known historically as the Llano Estacadomarker, it is the county seat of Lubbock Countymarker, and the home of Texas Tech Universitymarker. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, the city population was 199,564, making it the 90th largest city in the United States and the 11th largest in Texas. The 2006 population was estimated to be 212,169. Lubbock Countymarker had an estimated 2006 population of 254,862.

Lubbock's nickname is the "Hub City" which derives from being the economic, education, and health care hub of a multi-county region commonly called the South Plainsmarker. The area is the largest contiguous cotton-growing region in the world and is heavily dependent on irrigation water drawn from the Ogallala Aquifermarker.


The county of Lubbock was founded in 1876, named after Thomas Saltus Lubbock, a Confederate colonel and member of the Terry's Texas Rangers, a group of Texas volunteers for the Confederate Army. As early as 1884, a federal post office named Lubbock existed in Yellow House Canyon. However, the town of Lubbock was not founded until 1890, when it was formed from a unique merger arrangement between two smaller towns, "Old Lubbock" and Monterey. The terms of the compromise included keeping the Lubbock name but the Monterey townsite, so the previous Old Lubbock residents relocated south to the Monterey location, including putting Old Lubbock's Nicolette Hotel on rollers and pulling it across a canyon to its new home. In 1891 Lubbock became the county seat and on March 16, 1909 Lubbock was incorporated.

Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech Universitymarker) has been a part of Lubbock since 1923. Its medical school, the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, opened in 1969. Lubbock Christian Universitymarker, founded in 1957, and Sunset International Bible Institute, both affiliated with the Churches of Christ, have their main campuses in the city. South Plains College and Wayland Baptist Universitymarker operate branch campuses in Lubbock.

The city is home to the Lubbock Lake Landmarkmarker, part of the Museum of Texas Tech University. The landmark is an archaeological and natural history preserve at the northern edge of the city. It shows evidence of almost twelve thousand years of human occupation in the region. Another part of the museum, the National Ranching Heritage Centermarker, houses historic ranch-related structures from the area.

In August 1951, a v-shaped formation of lights was seen over the city. The "Lubbock Lightsmarker" series of sightings received national publicity and is regarded as one of the first great UFO cases. The sightings were considered credible because they were witnessed by several respected science professors at Texas Technological College and were photographed by a Texas Tech student. The photographs were reprinted nationwide in newspapers and in Life magazine. Project Blue Book, the US Air Force's official study of the UFO mystery, did an extensive investigation of the Lubbock Lights. They concluded that the photographs were not a hoax and showed genuine objects. However, they did dismiss the UFOs themselves as being either "night-flying moths" or a type of bird called a plover. The Air Force argued that the underside of the plovers or moths was reflected in the glow of Lubbock's new street lights at night. However, other researchers have disputed these explanations, and for many the "Lubbock Lights" remain a mystery.

On May 11, 1970, the Lubbock Tornado struck the city. Twenty-six people died, and damage was estimated at $125 million. The downtown NTS Tower, then known as the Great Plains Life Building, at in height, is believed to have been the tallest building ever to survive a direct hit from an F5 tornado. Then Mayor Jim Granberry and the Lubbock City Council, which included Granberry's successor as mayor, Morris W. Turner, were charged with directing the task of rebuilding the downtown in the aftermath of the storm.

In 2008 Lubbock celebrated its centennial.


Lubbock is located at (33.564735, -101.877793). The official elevation is above sea level, but stated figures range from 3195 to 3281. Lubbock is considered to be the center of the South Plainsmarker, and is situated north of the Permian Basin and south of the Texas Panhandlemarker. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , of which, of it is land and of it (0.09%) is water.


Lubbock has a mild, semi-arid climate. On average, Lubbock receives 18 inches of rain and ten inches of snow per year.

Summers in Lubbock are hot, although temperatures usually drop 30 degrees overnight, creating lows between and . Average high temperatures are about in June, July, and August. The highest recorded temperature was in 1994.

Winter days in Lubbock are typically sunny and relatively mild, but nights are cold with temperatures dipping below freezing.


As of the census of 2000, there were 199,564 people, 77,527 households, and 48,531 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,738.2 people per square mile (671.1/km2). There were 84,066 housing units at an average density of 732.2/sq mi (282.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 72.87% White, 8.66% African American, 0.56% Native American, 1.54% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 14.32% from other races, and 2.01% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 27.45% of the population.

There are 77,527 households, of which 30.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.6% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.4% are classified as non-families by the United States Census Bureau. Of 77,527 households, 3,249 are unmarried partner households: 2,802 heterosexual, 196 same-sex male, and 251 same-sex female households. 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.9% under the age of 18, 17.9% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 18.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 94.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,844, and the median income for a family was $41,418. Males had a median income of $30,222 versus $21,708 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,511. About 12.0% of families and 18.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.9% of those under age 18 and 10.1% of those age 65 or over.


The Lubbock area is the largest contiguous cotton-growing region in the world and is heavily dependent on irrigation water drawn from the Ogallala Aquifermarker. However, the aquifer is being depleted at a rate that is not sustainable in the long term. Much progress has been made in the area of water conservation and new technologies such as Low Energy Precision Application (LEPA) irrigation were originally developed in the Lubbock area. A pipeline to Lake Alan Henry is expected to supply up to 3.2 billion gallons of water per year upon completion in 2012.

Adolph R. Hanslik, who died in 2007 at the age of ninety, was called the "dean" of the Lubbock cotton industry, having worked for years to promote the export trade. Hanslik was also the largest contributor (through 2006) to the Texas Tech University Medical Center. He also endowed the Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center's capital campaign for construction of a new library museum archives building in La Grangemarker in Fayette Countymarker in his native southeastern Texas.

The ten largest employers in terms of the number of employees are: Texas Tech Universitymarker, Covenant Health System, Lubbock Independent School District, University Medical Center, United Supermarkets, City of Lubbock, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, AT&T, Convergys, and Lubbock Countymarker. A study conducted by a professor at the Rawls College of Business determined that Texas Tech students, faculty and staff generate about $1.5 billion with about $297.5 million from student shopping alone.

Lubbock has one regional enclosed mall, South Plains Mallmarker, which includes two Dillard's, JC Penney, Sears, and Bealls. More than 150 specialty retailers are located in the center, including Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch, Forever 21, Christopher & Banks, aerie, Aldo, Cardinal's Sports Center, American Eagle Outfitters, Buckle, Finish Line, Victoria's Secret, and many others.

Lubbock also has numerous open air shopping centers, most located in the booming Southwest area of Lubbock: Kingsgate Shopping Center includes numerous upscale tenants such as Malouf's, Anderson Bros. Jewelers, Banana Republic, Coldwater Creek, Woodhouse Day Spa, Chico's, Harold's, Ann Taylor, and others. The Village Center is home to Zoo-kini's Restaurant, Ribbons & Bows, The Radiant Lily, Subway Restaurant, Cokesbury Books & Church Supplies, and others. Rockridge Plaza offers a Lowe's Grocery/Ace Hardware, O'Hana's Japanese Steakhouse, Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts, among other tenants.

Lubbock's newest, open air shopping center is Canyon West, located off the newly constructed Marsha Sharp Freeway (named after the renowned Texas Tech Women's Basketball coach, retired). Canyon West opened the first stores in mid-2007, with new stores continuing to open as of October 2008. Canyon West offers shoppers a new Target, Burlington Coat Factory, Petsmart, Office Depot, Ulta Salon & Cosmetics, Kirkland's, DSW Shoes, Rack Room Shoes, World Market, Ross, and LifeWay Christian Resources bookstore. In close proximity to Canyon West is a Starbucks (with drive-thru), Cracker Barrel restaurant, and Main Event - an indoor recreation and entertainment center.

As of March 2007, there are four Wal-Martmarker Supercenters in the city, with two having been recently completed. The downtown supercenter is at the intersection of Avenue Q and Mac Davis Lane across from the renovated Radisson Hotel.

Economic Development

Originally founded as Market Lubbock in 1997, the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance (LEDA) was established by the City to recruit new business and industry to Lubbock and to retain existing companies. LEDA's mission is to promote economic growth through the creation of high quality jobs, attract new capital investment, retain and expand existing businesses, and improve the quality of life in Lubbock, Texas.

Legalization of packaged alcohol sales

Up until May 9, 2009, Lubbock County and the City of Lubbock had an unusual legal situation regarding the sale of alcoholic beverages. The county allowed package sales but not "by the drink" sales except at private institutions such as country clubs. Inside the Lubbock city limits, the situation was reversed with restaurants and bars able to serve alcohol but liquor stores forbidden. Lubbock remained legally dry until an election on April 9, 1972, made liquor by the drink, but not package sales, legal, and Lubbock abandoned its distinction as the largest dry city in the country.

Previously, packaged alcohol could only be obtained under special circumstances. In 2006, the Lubbock City Council voted 5-1 to annex "The Strip", making package alcohol sales legal within the city limits. There existed, however, significant barriers to entry for stores outside "The Strip" area to sell packaged alcohol. The new annexation contributed a sales tax of 1.5 percent, or 10 cents for every 7 dollars, to the city. Because of state law, liquor sales were be limited to the newly annexed area.

Petition effort

On August 12, 2008 the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce announced that they would lead the effort to get enough signatures to force an up-or-down vote on allowing county-wide packaged alcohol sales. A Political Action Committee (PAC) entitled Let Lubbock Vote was formed shortly after for this purpose. A total of 18,747 signatures were required for the issue to be placed on the May 9, 2009 ballot. The petition drive kicked off on October 1, 2008 and was run by Texas Petition Strategies, a firm hired by the PAC. Within two weeks Texas Petition Strategies (TPS) had collected over 25,000 valid signatures on the two petitions which read "the legal sale of all alcoholic beverages for off-premise consumption only" and "the legal sale of mixed beverages in restaurants by food and beverage certificate holders only." Another PAC called The Truth About Alcohol Sales, was formed in early October to oppose the petition. On November 12, 2008 Let Lubbock Vote turned in over 33,000 signatures to the county election administrator. Lubbock County Commissioners placed the issues on the May 9, 2009 ballot on December 22, 2008 after 25,720 signatures were verified by elections officials.

May 9 ballot

Early voting, for the May 9 ballot, began on April 27, 2009 and ended May 5, 2009, during this time about 41,000 ballots were cast. On May 9, election day, 9,552 voters cast ballots, bringing the total to approximately 50,700 or 35% of Lubbock County's registered voters. Proposition 1, which expanded the sale of packaged alcohol in the county, passed by nearly a margin of 2 to 1 with 64.5 percent in favor. Proposition 2, which legalized the sale of mixed-drink in restaurants county-wide, passed with 69.5 percent in favor.

Legal battle

Majestic Liquor, Inc. and Pinkie's, Inc., owners of several of the stores at the strip, filed suit against the city of Lubbock and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) on May 4, 2009. In their lawsuit, the corporations claim that the ordinance unfairly discriminates amongst retailers, violating Texas State Law. The lawsuit states that the ordinance attempts to limit the size of packaged stores to in some areas, while other business do not have such a restriction. The two companies requested that a temporary restraining order be placed against the city and the TABC preventing the issuance of new alcohol sale permits. After the lawsuit was filed 237th District Judge Sam Medina issued the restraining order, which was effective until May 18, 2009 when a hearing on a temporary injunction was held. Following the hearing on May 18, 2009, the temporary injunction was extended for another 90 days.

On June 4, 2009 Lubbock city planners unanimously approved new ordinance amendments to address the concerns of the two companies. The amendments would remove size restrictions in zones that include major shopping centers, and would increase the limit from to in smaller commercial zones. The ordinance amendments were approved by the Lubbock City Council on June 23, 2009, but must be approved a second time before they are passed. The second reading of the amendments was held at the July 8, 2009 city council meeting, where the amendments were unanimously passed without discussion. The two retailers dropped the lawsuit August 10, 2009 after the new ordinance went into effect.

However, the legal challenges did not end there. On August 10, 2009, two Lubbock residents filed protests with the TABC citing that the May 9, 2009 vote is contrary to the wishes of voters in New Deal, Abernathy and parts of Lubbock. By Texas state law the wet or dry status of a smaller municipality, like a city or town, supersedes the status of a larger area, like a county. The protesters argued that if residents of a community voted at any point against the sale of alcohol, the May 9, 2009 vote would not be applicable to that community. Local officials had already heard this challenge shortly after the May 9, 2009 vote, and found that those rules did not apply. On September 3, 2009 the TABC dismissed the protests filed by the two residents stating that it was beyond the agency's authority. The TABC issued permits to more than 80 stores on September 23, 2009 bringing an end to the more than 4 months of legal battles.


City government (as of May 2008):
Mayor Tom Martin
District 1 Linda DeLeon
District 2 Flyod Price
District 3 Todd R. Klein
District 4 Paul R. Beane
District 5 John W. Leonard III
District 6 Jim Gilbreath (Mayor Pro Tem)
Lubbock has a council-manager government system, with all governmental powers resting in a legislative body called a city council. Voters elect six council members, one for each of Lubbock's six districts, and a mayor. The council members serve for a term of four years, and the mayor serves for two years. After the first meeting of the city council after newly elected council members are seated, the council elects a Mayor pro tempore who serves as mayor in absence of the elected mayor. The council also appoints a city manager to handle the ordinary business of the city. There are currently no term limits for either city council members or mayor.

The Lubbock Police Department was shaped by the long-term administration of Chief J.T. Alley (1923-2009), who served from 1957-1983, the third longest tenure in state history. Under Alley, the department acquired its first Juvenile Division, K-9 Corps, Rape Crisis Center, and Special Weapons and Tactics teams. He also presided over the desegregation of the department and coordinated efforts during the 1970 tornadoes.


Lubbock is home to Texas Tech Universitymarker, which was established on February 10, 1923, as Texas Technological College. It is the leading institution of the Texas Tech University System and has the sixth largest student body in the state of Texas. With , it has the second largest contiguous campus in the United States and is the only school in Texas to house an undergraduate institution, law school, and medical school at the same location. Altogether, the university has educated students from all 50 U.S. states and over 100 foreign countries. Enrollment has continued to increase in recent years and growth is on track with a plan to have 40,000 students by the year 2020.

Lubbock also has other college campuses in the city including Lubbock Christian University, South Plains College, Wayland Baptist Universitymarker, and Sunset International Bible Institute.

Most of Lubbock is served by the Lubbock Independent School District. Small portions of Lubbock extend into the neighboring districts of Frenship, Lubbock-Cooper, and Roosevelt.

The Lubbock area is also home to many private schools, such as Christ the King High Schoolmarker, Christ the King Junior High, Christ the King Elementary, Trinity Christian High School, Kingdom Preparatory Academy, Lubbock Christian High School, and All Saints Episcopal School.

People and culture

Lubbock is the birthplace of rock and roll legend Buddy Holly and features a cultural center named for him. The city previously hosted an annual Buddy Holly Music Festival. However, the event was renamed Lubbock Music Festival after Holly's widow increased usage fees for his name. Similarly, the city renamed the Buddy Holly West Texas Walk of Fame to honor area musicians as the West Texas Hall of Fame. On January 26, 2009, the City of Lubbock agreed to pay Holly's widow $20,000 for the next 20 years to maintain the name of the Buddy Holly Center. Additionally, land near the center will be named the Buddy and Maria Holly Plaza. Holly's legacy is also remembered through the work of deejays such as Bud Andrews and Virgil Johnson on radio station KDAV.

Lubbock's Memorial Civic Center hosts many events. Former Mayor Morris Turner (1931-2008), who served from 1972-1974, has been called the father of the Civic Center.

The city has also been the birthplace or home of several country musicians including Delbert McClinton, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock and Joe Ely (collectively known as The Flatlanders), Mac Davis, Terry Allen, Lloyd Maines and his daughter, Dixie Chicks singer, Natalie Maines, Texas Tech alums Pat Green and Cory Morrow, and Coronado High School graduate Richie McDonald (lead singer of Lonestar until 2007). Pete Orta from the Christian rock group Petra, basketball players Craig Ehlo and Daniel Santiago, and football player Mason Crosby have also called Lubbock home. The city is also the birthplace of actor Chace Crawford (The Covenant, Gossip Girl), singer Travis Garland from the band NLT, and public interest attorney, author, and political activist William John Cox (Billy Jack Cox).

The National Cowboy Symposium and Celebration, an annual event celebrating the prototypical Old West cowboy, takes place in Lubbock. The event is held in September and features art, music, cowboy poetry, stories, and the presentation of scholarly papers on cowboy culture and the history of the American West. A chuckwagon cook-off and horse parade also take place during the event.

Every year on July 4, Lubbock hosts the 4th on Broadway event, an Independence Day festival. The event is entirely free to the public, and is considered the largest free festival in Texas. The day's activities usually include a morning parade, a street fair along Broadway Avenue with food stalls and live bands, the Early Settlers' Luncheon, and an evening concert/fireworks program. Broadway Festivals Inc., the non-profit corporation which organizes the event, estimates a 2004 attendance of over 175,000 people. Additionally, the College Baseball Foundation holds events relating to its College Baseball Hall of Fame during the 4th on Broadway event.

Lubbock's main newspaper is the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, which is owned by Morris Communications. Texas Tech University publishes a student-run daily newspaper called, The Daily Toreador.

Local TV stations include KTXT-TVmarker-5 (PBS), KCBDmarker-11 (NBC), KLBKmarker-13 (CBS), KAMCmarker-28 (ABC), and KJTV-TVmarker-34 (Fox).

According to a study released by the non-partisan Bay Area Center for Voting Research, Lubbock is the second most conservative city in the United States with a population over 100,000.


A child watches the ducks at Higginbotham Park, one of Lubbock's some seventy-five municipal parks.

The National Ranching Heritage Centermarker, a museum of ranching history, is located in Lubbock. It features a number of authentic early Texas ranch buildings as well as a railroad depot and other historic buildings. There is also an extensive collection of weapons on display. Jim Humphreys, late manager of the Pitchfork Ranchmarker east of Lubbock, was a prominent board member of the center.

The Southwest Collection, an archive of the history of the region and its surroundings which also works closely with the College Baseball Foundation, is located on the campus of Texas Tech Universitymarker, as are the Moody Planetarium and the Museum of Texas Tech University.

The Depot District, an area of the city dedicated to music and nightlife, is located in the old railroad depot area and boasts a number of theatres, upscale restaurants, and cultural attractions. The Depot District is also home to several shops, pubs and nightclubs, a radio station, a brewery, a magazine, a winery, a salon, and other establishments. Many of the buildings were remodeled from the original Fort Worth & Denver South Plains Railway Depot which originally stood on the site. The Buddy Holly Center, a museum highlighting the life and music of Buddy Holly, is also located in the Depot District. So is the restored community facility, the Cactus Theatermarker.

Lubbock is also home to the Silent Wings Museummarker. Located on North I-27, Silent Wings features photographs and artifacts from the World War II era glider pilots.

The Science Spectrum is an interactive museum and IMAX Dome theatre with a special focus on children and youth.

Mackenzie Park

Mackenzie Park is home to Joyland Amusement Parkmarker, Prairie Dog Town, and both a disc golf and regular golf course. The park also holds the American Wind Power Centermarker which houses over 100 historic windmills on 28 acres. The Brazos river winds through Mackenzie Park. It is collectively part of the rather extensive Lubbock Park system.

In March 1877, Mackenzie Park was the site of the Battle of Yellow House Canyon, which occurred during the Buffalo Hunters' War.


The Texas Tech Red Raiders have seventeen teams in eleven different varsity sports. Men's varsity sports at Texas Tech are baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, tennis, and indoor and outdoor track & field. Women's varsity sports are basketball, cross country, golf, indoor and outdoor track & field, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball. The university also offers 30 club sports, including cycling, equestrian, ice hockey, lacrosse, polo, rodeo, rugby, running, sky diving, swimming, water polo, and wrestling. In 2006, the polo team, composed of Will Tankard, Ross Haislip, Peter Blake, and Tanner Kneese, won the collegiate national championship.

The football program has been competing since October 3, 1925. The Red Raiders have won eleven conference titles and been to 31 bowl games, winning five of the last seven.

The men's basketball program, started in 1925 and presently coached by Pat Knight, son of hall-of-famermarker and former Texas Tech coach Bob Knight, has been to the NCAA Tournament 14 times—advancing to the Sweet 16 three times.

Of the varsity sports, Texas Tech has had its greatest success in women's basketball. Led by Sheryl Swoopes and head coach Marsha Sharp, the Lady Raiders won the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship in 1993. The Lady Raiders have also been to the NCAA Elite Eight three times and the NCAA Sweet 16 seven times. In early 2006, Lady Raiders coach Marsha Sharp resigned and was replaced on March 30, 2006 by Kristy Curry, who had been coaching at Purdue.

Other sports at Tech include cross country, baseball, golf, tennis, track, ice hockey, soccer, softball, volleyball, and polo.

High school athletics also feature prominently in the local culture. In addition, Lubbock is the home of the Chaparrals of Lubbock Christian Universitymarker. In 2007, the Lubbock Renegades began play as a member of the af2, a developmental league of the Arena Football League.

In 2007, the Lubbock Western All-Stars Little League Baseball team made it to the final four of the Little League World Series.

In 2009, the Lubbock Christian University baseball team won their second NAIA National Championship.

National Register of Historic Places


The city's air services are provided by Lubbock Preston Smith International Airportmarker, which is named for the Lubbock businessman who became lieutenant governor and governor of Texas. It is located on the northeast side of the city. Public transportation is provided by Citibus, a bus transit system running Monday through Saturday every week with a transit center hub in downtown.

Lubbock is served by major highways. Interstate 27 (the former Avenue H) links the city to Amarillomarker and Interstate 40, a transcontinental route. I-27 was completed through the city in 1992 (it originally terminated just north of downtown). Other major highways include US 62 and US 82 which run concurrently (except for 4th Street (82) and 19th Street (62) through the city east-west as the Brownfieldmarker Highway (soon to be upgraded to Marsha Sharp Freeway, 19th Street (62 only), 4th Street/Parkway Drive (82 only) and Idaloumarker Highway. US 84 (Avenue Q/Slatonmarker Highway/Clovismarker Road) is also another east-west route running NW/SE diagonally. U.S. Highway 87 runs between San Angelomarker and Amarillo and follows I-27 concurrently. State Highway 114 runs east-west, following US 62/82 on the east before going its own way. Lubbock is circled by Loop 289, which suffers from traffic congestion despite being a potential bypass around the city, which is the reason behind I-27 and Brownfield Highway being built through the city to have freeway traffic flow effectively inside the loop.

The city is set up on a simple grid plan. In the heart of the city, numbered streets run east-west and lettered avenues run north-south — the grid begins at Avenue A in the east and First Street in the north. North of First Street, city planners chose to name streets alphabetically from the south to the north after colleges and universities. The north-south avenues run from A to Y. What would be Avenue Z is actually University Avenue since it runs along the east side of Texas Tech. Beyond that, the A-to-Z convention resumes, using U.S. cities found east of the Mississippi (e.g. Akron Avenue, Boston Avenue, Canton Avenue). Again, the Z name is not used, with Slide Road appearing in its place.

Lubbock has no inter-city rail service, although there have been various proposals over the years to remedy this. One, the Caprock Chief, would have seen daily service as part of a Fort Worth, TexasmarkerDenver, Coloradomarker service, but it failed to gain traction.


  1. Battle on for water until Alan Henry pipeline done Accessed 2009-01-19.

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