States in Order of Admission to the United States of America

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When did each state become a member of the United States? These states are listed in the sequence in which they ratified the Constitution of 1787 and were admitted to the United States of America.

For each state, a satellite image (Landsat 7) and certain geography facts are displayed. The date of statehood, capital, total area, percentage of land covered by water, highest point of height, and mean elevation are all provided for each state.

1. Delaware

1787: December 7 (Ratification date – one of the original U.S. colonies)

Delaware is known as the First State because it was the first state to ratify, or sign, the United States Constitution.

CapitalDover
Area1,982 mi2 (5,130 km2) 49th rank
Mean Elevation60 ft  (20 m) Lowest in US
Highest ElevationNear the Ebright Azimuth: 447.85 ft (136.50 m)
% of State Area that is water21.5
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Delaware.

2. Pennsylvania

1787: December 12 (Ratification date – one of the original U.S. colonies)

The term “Keystone State” comes from the fact that Pennsylvania serves as a geographic link between the Northeastern and Southern United States, as well as the Atlantic and Midwest coasts.

CapitalHarrisburg
Area46,055 mi2 (119,283 km2) 33rd rank
Mean Elevation1,100 ft  (340 m)
Highest ElevationMount Davis: 3,213 ft  (979 m)
% of State Area That is Water2.7
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Pennsylvania.

3. New Jersey

1787: December 18 (Ratification date – one of the original U.S. colonies)

Large portions of New Jersey’s northwestern and southern regions are very rural. The fertile, loamy soil of the state’s Inner Coastal Plain area makes the terrain suitable for agriculture, earning New Jersey the nickname “Garden State.”

CapitalTrenton
Area8,722.58  mi2 (22,591.38 km2) 47th rank
Mean Elevation250 ft  (80 m)
Highest ElevationHigh Point: 1,803 ft  (549.6 m)
% of State Area That is Water15.7
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of New Jersey.

4. Georgia

1788: January 2 (Ratification date – one of the original U.S. colonies)

Georgia was the last and southernmost of the original Thirteen Colonies to be established. Georgia became the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution on January 2, 1788.

CapitalAtlanta
Area59,425  mi2 (153,909 km2) 24th rank
Mean Elevation600 ft  (180 m)
Highest ElevationBrasstown Bald: 4,784 ft  (1,458 m)
% of State Area that is Water2.6
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Georgia.

5. Connecticut

1788: January 9 (Ratification date – one of the original U.S. colonies)

Connecticut is the southernmost state in the United States’ New England area. State nicknames for Connecticut include “Constitution State”, the “Nutmeg State”, the “Provisions State”, and the “Land of Steady Habits”.

CapitalHartford
Area5,567  mi (14,357 km2) 48th rank
Mean Elevation500 ft  (150 m)
Highest ElevationMA border on south slope of Mount Frissell: 2,379 ft (725 m)
% of State Area that is Water12.6
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Connecticut.

6. Massachusetts

1788: February 6 (Ratification date – one of the original U.S. colonies)

Nicknames for Massachusetts are: The Bay State (official), The Pilgrim State; The Puritan State, The Old Colony State, and The Baked Bean State.

CapitalBoston
Area10,565  mi2 (27,337 km2) 44th rank
Mean Elevation500 ft   (150 m)
Highest ElevationMount Greylock: 3,489 ft (1,063.4 m)
% of State Area That is Water25.7
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Massachusetts.

7. Maryland

1788: April 28 (Ratification date – one of the original U.S. colonies)

Some of Maryland’s nicknames are Old Line State, the Free State, and the Chesapeake Bay State. Maryland is the only U.S. state with no natural lakes.

CapitalAnnapolis
Area12,407 mi2 (32,133 km2) 42nd rank
Mean Elevation350 ft  (110 m)
Highest ElevationHoye-Crest: 3,360 ft (1,024 m)
% of State Area That is Water21
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Maryland.

8. South Carolina

1788: May 23 (Ratification date – one of the original U.S. colonies)

The natural environment of South Carolina is separated into three natural geographic areas: the Atlantic coastal plain, the Piedmont, and the Blue Ridge Mountains, which run east to west.

CapitalColumbia
Area32,020 mi2 (82,931 km2)40th rank
Mean Elevation350 ft  (110 m)
Highest ElevationSassafras Mountain: 3,560 ft (1,085 m)
% of State Area That is Water6
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of South Carolina.

9. New Hampshire

1788: June 21 (Ratification date – one of the original U.S. colonies)

The nickname, “The Granite State” comes from the New Hampshire’s large granite rocks and quarries. With a general coastline length of 18.57 miles (29 km), New Hampshire has the shortest ocean coastline of any U.S. coastal state.

CapitalConcord
Area9,349 mi2 (24,214 km2) 46th rank
Mean Elevation1,000 ft  (300 m)
Highest ElevationMount Washingon: 6,288 ft (1,916.66 m)
% of State Area That is Water4.2
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of New Hampshire.

10. Virginia

1788: June 25 (Ratification date – one of the original U.S. colonies)

The Atlantic Coastal Plain, the Piedmont, the Blue Ridge, the Appalachian Ridge and Valley Region, and the Appalachian Plateau are the five geographical regions that make up Virginia.

CapitalRichmond
Area42,774.2 mi2 (110,785.67 km2)35th rank
Mean Elevation950 ft  (290 m)
Highest ElevationMount Rogers5,729 ft (1,746 m)
% of state Area  that is water7.4
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Virginia.

11. New York

1788: July 26 (Ratification date – one of the original U.S. colonies)

New York State is home to Adirondack Park which is the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States. New York City is the most populous city in the United States with over 8.3 million residents.

CapitalAlbany
Area54,555 mi2 (141,300 km2) 27th rank
Mean Elevation950 ft  (290 m)
Highest ElevationMount Marcy: 5,344 ft (1,629 m)
% of State Area That is Water13.5
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of New York.

12. North Carolina

1789: November 21 (Ratification date – one of the original U.S. colonies)

Since records began in 1526, more than a thousand ships have sunk in the waters around Cape Hatteras in North Carolina, earning it the moniker “Graveyard of the Atlantic.”

CapitalRaleigh
Area53,819 mi2 (139,390 km2) 28th rank
Mean Elevation700 ft  (210 m)
Highest ElevationMount Mitchell: 6,684 ft (2,037 m)
% of State Area That is Water9.5
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of North Carolina.

13. Rhode Island

1790: May 29 (Ratification date – one of the original U.S. colonies)

Rhode Island is the smallest U.S. state by area. The “Ocean State” is Rhode Island’s official nickname, referring to the extensive bays and inlets that make up around 14% of the state’s total territory.

CapitalProvidence
Area1,214 mi2 (3,144 km2) 50th rank
Mean Elevation200 ft  (60 m)
Highest ElevationJerimoth Hill: 812 ft (247 m)
% of State Area That is Water13.9
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Rhode Island.

14. Vermont

1791: March 4 (Vermont is the first state not part of the original 13 U.S. colonies to become part of the United States).

After the 13 colonies were ratified, Vermont became the 14th state admitted to the newly formed United States of America. Not counting steeple heights, Vermont is the only U.S. state without a building taller than 124 feet.

CapitalBurlington
Area9,616 mi2 (24,923 km2) 45th rank
Mean Elevation1,000 ft  (300 m)
Highest ElevationMount Mansfield: 4,395 ft (1,340 m)
% of State Area That is Water4.1
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Vermont.

15. Kentucky

1792: June 1

Kentucky is known as the “Bluegrass State” because of the Kentucky bluegrass grass that grows in many of the state’s pastures. Mammoth Cave National Park, the world’s longest cave system, is located in Kentucky.

CapitalFrankfort
Area40,409 mi2 (104,659 km2) 37th rank
Mean Elevation750 ft  (230 m)
Highest ElevationBlack Mountain: 4,145 ft (1,263 m)
% of State Area That is Water1.7
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Kentucky.

16. Tennessee

1796: June 1

The Blue Ridge Mountains, which run along Tennessee’s eastern border, reach some of the highest peaks in eastern North America. Eastern Tennessee is home to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the country’s most visited national park.

CapitalNashville
Area42,143 mi2 (109,247 km2)36th rank
Mean Elevation900 ft  (270 m)
Highest ElevationClingmans Dome6,643 ft (2,025 m)
% of state Area  that is water2.2
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Tennessee.

17. Ohio

1803: March 1

The state flag of Ohio is the only non-rectangular flag in the United States. Ohio is named after the Ohio River, whose name comes from the Seneca word ohiyo’, which means “good river,” “big river,” or “huge stream.”

CapitalColumbus
Area44,825 mi2 (116,096 km2)34th rank
Mean Elevation850 ft  (260 m)
Highest ElevationCampbell Hill1,549 ft (472 m)
% of state Area  that is water8.7
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Ohio.

18. Louisiana

1812: April 30

Louisiana’s southern coast is one of the world’s fastest-disappearing regions. Climate change, oil and gas drilling and dredging, and Mississippi River levees are causing the state to lose a football field of land every 48 minutes, or 16 square miles each year.

CapitalBaton Rouge
Area52,378.13 mi2 (135,382 km2) 31st rank
Mean Elevation100 ft  (30 m)
Highest ElevationDriskill Mountain: 535 ft (163 m)
% of State Area That is Water15
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Louisiana.

19. Indiana

1816: December 11

With the highest point at 1,257 feet (383 m) and the lowest point at 320 feet (98 m), Indiana has the narrowest elevation span, 937 feet (286 m) of any non-coastal US state.

CapitalIndianapolis
Area36,418 mi2 (94,321 km2) 38th rank
Mean Elevation700 ft  (210 m)
Highest ElevationHoosier Hill: 1,257 ft (383 m)
% of state Area  that is water1.5
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Indiana.

20. Mississippi

1817: December 10

Mississippi lies almost entirely inside the Gulf coastal plain, with lowland plains and low hills dominating the landscape.

CapitalJackson
Area48,430 mi2 (125,443 km2) 32nd rank
Mean Elevation300 ft  (90 m)
Highest ElevationWoodall Mountain 807 ft (246.0 m)
% of State Area That is Water3.0
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Mississippi.

21. Illinois

1818: December 3

Except for a few spots where the river has changed course, the Mississippi River runs nearly the entire western boundary of Illinois.

CapitalSpringfield
Area57,953 mi2 (149,967 km2) 25th rank
Mean Elevation600 ft  (180 m)
Highest ElevationCharles Mound: 1,235 ft (376.4 m)
% of State Area That is Water3.99
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Illinois.

22. Alabama

1819: December 14

Alabama has the most inland waterways of any state, with a total of 1,500 miles (2,400 km).

CapitalMontgomery
Area52,419 mi2 (135,765 km2) 30th rank
Mean Elevation500 ft  (150 m)
Highest ElevationMount Cheaha: 2,413 ft (735.5 m)
% of State Area That is Water3.20
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Alabama.

23. Maine

1820: March 15

Maine is the contiguous United States’ northeasternmost state. Main is also the only state with a single syllable name, and the only state that only borders one other state.

CapitalAugusta
Area35,385 mi2 (91,646 km2) 39th rank
Mean Elevation600 ft  (180 m)
Highest ElevationMount Katahdin: 5,270 ft (1,606.4 m)
% of State Area That is Water13.5
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Maine.

24. Missouri

1821: August 10

Missouri is landlocked and and is one of only two states that borders eight different states (Tennessee is the other state).

CapitalJefferson City
Area69,704 mi2 (180,530 km2) 21st rank
Mean Elevation800 ft  (244 m)
Highest ElevationTaum Sauk Mountain: 1,772 ft (540 m)
% of State Area That is Water1.17
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Missouri.

25. Arkansas

1836: June 15

The world’s only diamond-bearing place accessible to the public for digging is Crater of Diamonds State Park near Murfreesboro, Arkansas.

CapitalLittle Rock
Area53,180 mi2 (137,733 km2)29th rank
Mean Elevation650 ft  (200 m)
Highest ElevationMount Magazine2,753 ft (839 m)
% of state Area  that is water2.09
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Arkansas.

26. Michigan

1837: January 26

Michigan is the only state in the United States that is made up of two peninsulas: the Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula. Michigan is flanked by four of the five Great Lakes, as well as Lake St. Clair, making it the state with the longest freshwater shoreline in the United States.

CapitalLansing
Area96,716 mi2 (250,493 km2) 11th rank
Mean Elevation900 ft  (270 m)
Highest ElevationMount Arvon: 1,979 ft (603 m)
% of State Area  That is Water41.5
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Michigan.

27. Florida

1845: March 3

In the contiguous United States, Florida has the longest coastline. Florida’s coastline stretches 1,350 miles from one end to the other (2,170 km). Related: Interesting Geography Facts About Florida

CapitalTallahassee
Area65,755 mi2 (170,304 km2) 22nd rank
Mean Elevation100 ft  (30 m)
Highest ElevationBritton Hill: 345 ft (105 m)
% of State Area That is Water17.9
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Florida.

28. Texas

1845: December 29

Texas is the largest state in the contiguous United States and the second largest overall after Alaska. Three of Texas’ borders are defined by rivers: the Rio Grande is a natural border with parts of Mexico, the Red River forms a natural border with Oklahoma and Arkansas to the north, and the Sabine River forms a natural border with Louisiana to the east.

CapitalAustin
Area268,581 mi2 (696,241 km2) 2nd rank
Mean Elevation1,700 ft  (520 m)
Highest ElevationGuadalupe Peak: 8,751 ft (2,667.4 m)
% of State Area That is Water2.5
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Texas.

29. Iowa

1846: December 28

On the west Iowa is bordered by the Missouri River and the Big Sioux River and by the Mississippi River on the east, making it the only state with east and west borders formed almost entirely by rivers.

CapitalDes Moines
Area56,272.81 mi2 (145,746 km2) 26th rank
Mean Elevation1,100 ft  (340 m)
Highest ElevationHawkeye Point: 1,671 ft (509 m)
% of State Area That is Water0.70
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Iowa.

30. Wisconsin

1848: May 29

Wisconsin is known for its large and diversified landscape, which was shaped by glaciers during the last ice age 17 thousand years ago.

CapitalMadison
Area65,498.37 mi2 (169,640 km2) 23rd rank
Mean Elevation1,050 ft  (320 m)
Highest ElevationTimms Hill: 1,951 ft (595 m)
% of State Area That is Water17
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Wisconsin.

31. California

1850: September 9

Both the highest (Mount Whitney) and lowest (Death Valley) points in the 48 contiguous states are found in California. California is the most populous and the third-largest state in terms of area in the United States.

CapitalSacramento
Area163,696 mi2 (423,970 km2) 3rd rank
Mean Elevation2,900 ft  (880 m)
Highest ElevationMount Whitney: 14,505 ft (4,421.0 m)
% of State Area That is Water4.7
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of California.

32. Minnesota

1858: May 11

The state of Minnesota about a third of its area is forested, and it is known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” because it has about 11,800 bodies of fresh water that are at least ten acres in size.

CapitalSaint Paul
Area86,936 mi2 (225,163 km2) 12th rank
Mean Elevation1,200 ft  (370 m)
Highest ElevationLake Superior: 602 ft (183 m)
% of State Area That is Water8.40
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Minnesota.

33. Oregon

1859: February 14

Oregon has volcanoes, many bodies of water, lush evergreen and mixed forests, as well as high deserts and semi-arid shrublands, making it one of the most geographically diverse states in the United States.

CapitalSalem
Area98,381 mi2 (254,806 km2) 9th rank
Mean Elevation3,300 ft  (1,000 m)
Highest ElevationMount Hood: 11,249 ft (3,428.8 m)
% of State Area That is Water2.4
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Oregon.

34. Kansas

1861: January 29

The geographic center of the 48 contiguous United States has been calculated to be near Lebanon in Smith County, Kansas.

CapitalTopeka
Area82,278 mi2 (213,100 km2) 15th rank
Mean Elevation2,000 ft  (610 m)
Highest ElevationMount Sunflower: 4,041 ft (1,232 m)
% of State Area That is Water0.6
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Kansas.

35. West Virginia

1863: June 20

The nickname The Mountain State and the motto Montani Semper Liberi (“Mountaineers are always free”) come from the fact that Virginia is almost entirely mountainous. Related: West Virginia’s First National Park

CapitalCharleston
Area24,230 mi2 (62,755 km2) 41st rank
Mean Elevation1,513 ft  (461 m)
Highest ElevationSpruce Knob: 4,863 ft (1,482 m)
% of State Area That is Water0.6
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of West Virginia.

36. Nevada

1864: October 31

Nevada has 172 mountain peaks that rise above 2,000 feet (610 meters). Nevada is the state with the secondmost mountains in the United States, trailing only Alaska.

CapitalCarson City
Area110,577 mi2 (286,382 km2) 7th rank
Mean Elevation5,500 ft  (1,680 m)
Highest ElevationBoundary Peak: 13,147 ft (4,007.1 m)
% of State Area That is Water0.72
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Nevada.

37. Nebraska

1867: March 1

Nebraska is the only state in the United States that is triply landlocked.

CapitalLincoln
Area77,358 mi2 (200,365 km2) 16th rank
Mean Elevation2,600 ft  (790 m)
Highest ElevationPanorama Point: 5,424 ft (1,654 m)
% of State Area That is Water0.7
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Nebraska.

38. Colorado

1876: August 1

Colorado is known as the “Centennial State” because it became a state one hundred years after the United States Declaration of Independence was signed. The Four Corners Monument is located at 36°59’56″N, 109°2’43″W in Colorado’s southwest corner.

CapitalDenver
Area104,094 mi2 (269,837 km2) 8th rank
Mean Elevation6,800 ft  (2,070 m)
Highest ElevationMount Elbert in Lake County: 14,440 ft (4,401.2 m)
% of State Area That is Water0.36
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Colorado.

39. North Dakota

1889: November 2 (admitted at the same time as South Dakota)

The KVLY-TV mast in Blanchard, North Dakota is the Western Hemisphere’s largest man-made tower. The “Geographic Center of the North American Continent” is marked by a stone marker near Rugby, North Dakota.

CapitalBismarck
Area71,230 mi2 (183,640 km2) 19th rank
Mean Elevation1,900 ft  (580 m)
Highest ElevationWhite Butte: 3,508 ft (1,069 m)
% of State Area That is Water2.4
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of North Dakota.

40. South Dakota

1889: November 2 (admitted at the same time as North Dakota)

The geographic center of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, is near the town of Belle Fourche in South Dakota.

CapitalPierre
Area78,116 mi2 (199,729 km2) 17th rank
Mean Elevation2,200 ft  (670 m)
Highest ElevationBlack Elk Peak: 7,244 ft (2,208 m)
% of State Area That is Water1.7
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of South Dakota.

41. Montana

1889: November 8

To the north, Montana borders the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, making it the only state to border three Canadian provinces.

CapitalHelena
Area147,040 mi2 (380,800 km2)4th rank
Mean Elevation3,400 ft  (1,040 m)
Highest ElevationGranite Peak12,807 ft (3,903.5 m)
% of state Area  that is water1
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Montana.

42. Washington

1889: November 11

At almost 14,411 feet (4,392 meters), Mount Rainier, an active stratovolcano, is Washington’s highest elevation mountain.

CapitalOlympia
Area71,362 mi2 (184,827 km2) 18th rank
Mean Elevation1,700 ft  (520 m)
Highest ElevationMount Rainier: 14,411 ft (4,392 m)
% of State Area That is Water6.6
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Washington.

43. Idaho

1890: July 3

The United States Forest Service owns 38 percent of the Idaho’s acreage, the highest percentage of any state. Hells Canyon in Western Idaho is the deepest gorge in the United States.

CapitalBoise
Area83,797 mi2 (216,900 km2) 14th rank
Mean Elevation5,000 ft  (1,520 m)
Highest ElevationBorah Peak: 12,662 ft (3,859 m)
% of State Area That is Water0.98
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Idaho.

44. Wyoming

1890: July 10

Wyoming is the least populous and least densely populated state in the contiguous United States. The federal government owns almost half of the land in Wyoming.

CapitalCheyenne
Area97,914 mi2 (253,600 km2) 10th rank
Mean Elevation6,700 ft  (2,040 m)
Highest ElevationGannett Peak: 13,809 ft (4,209.1 m)
% of State Area That is Water0.7
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Wyoming.

45. Utah

1896: January 4

Utah is one of only three states in the United States (Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming) that use latitude and longitude lines as their boundaries. Utah is the only state in which national forest land is found in every county.

CapitalSalt Lake City
Area84,899 mi2 (219,653 km±) 13th rank
Mean Elevation6,100 ft  (1,860 m)
Highest ElevationKings Peak: 13,534 ft (4,120.3 m)
% of State Area That is Water3.25
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Utah.

46. Oklahoma

1907: November 16

The Arbuckle Mountains, Wichita Mountains, Ozark Mountains, and Ouachita Mountains are Oklahoma’s four main mountain ranges. Oklahoma has the highest number of reservoirs in the nation. Related: Geography of Oklahoma

Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Oklahoma.

47. New Mexico

1912: January 6

Santa Fe, New Mexico’s state capital is the oldest in the United States and was founded in 1610 as the then as the government seat of Nuevo México.

CapitalSanta Fe
Area121,699 mi2 (315,198 km2) 5th rank
Mean Elevation5,700 ft  (1,740 m)
Highest ElevationWheeler Peak: 13,167 ft (4,013.3 m)
% of State Area That is Water0.2
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of New Mexico.

48. Arizona

1912: February 12

Arizona was the last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the United States. Grand Canyon National Park, one of the world’s seven natural wonders, is located in Arizona.

CapitalPhoenix
Area113,990 mi2 (295,234 km2) 6th rank
Mean Elevation4,100 ft  (1250 m)
Highest ElevationHumphreys Peak: 12,637 ft (3,852 m)
% of State Area That is Water0.35
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Arizona.

49. Alaska

1959: January 3

Alaska is the largest state in the United States and is home to the top ten highest mountains in the country. Sitka, Alaska is the largest city in the U.S. by area.

CapitalJuneau
Area663,268 mi2 (1,717,856 km2) 1st rank
Mean Elevation1900 ft  (580 m)
Highest ElevationDenali: 20,310 ft (6,190.5 m)
% of State Area  That is Water13.77
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Alaska.

50. Hawaii

1959: August 21

Hawaii is the only state in the tropics, the only state outside of North America, and the only state made up completely of islands.

CapitalHonolulu
Area10,931 mi2 (28,311 km2) 43rd rank
Mean Elevation3,030 ft  (920 m)
Highest ElevationMauna Kea: 13,796 ft (4,205.0 m)
% of State Area That is Water41.2
Fact sheet with Landsat image for the state of Hawaii.

Watch this as a video on YouTube: States in order of admission to the United States

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