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Manuscript Group 386

Abe McGregor Goff, 1899-1894

Papers, 1905-1985
10.5 cubic feet


The records of Abe Goff were donated to the University of Idaho Library by his daughter Annie Goff between February 1990 and June 1993. An additional donation was received from the Latah County Historical Society in February 1996. They were processed by Judith Nielsen in July and August 1997

BIOGRAPHY

Abe Goff was born in Colfax, Washington, December 21, 1899, the fourth son of Herbert W. and Mary Francis (Dorsey) Goff. The middle name of McGregor, his wife's mother's maiden name, was assumed in April 1945 during his military service. In addition to his three brothers he had one younger sister. He left high school from September 1917 to February 1918 to serve as a private in the Washington State National Guard during World War I. He returned to school and graduated in 1918. While at Colfax High School he was on both the track and football teams.

Working his way through the University of Idaho he held such jobs as day laborer in a lumber mill, construction worker, plumbers helper, dish washer, and was also sexton at St. Mark's Episcopal Church. He also found time to participate in dramatics, where he appeared in many plays including the part of the Indian Chief in "The Light on the Mountain", in football where his exploits earned him one of the first spots in the University of Idaho Athletic Hall of Fame, and in campus politics where he was elected president of the Freshman Class for the third quarter, and in April 1923 he ran for president of the ASUI, but was defeated by Talbot Jennings. He was also active in the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

Goff was a cadet colonel in the university ROTC regiment and was commissioned 2nd lieutenant in the infantry reserve in February 1923. In 1933 he transferred to the Judge Advocate General's Department as a Captain, and when called to active duty had risen to Major.

After graduating from the University of Idaho Law School in 1924 he was admitted to the Idaho Bar and joined the law office of C.J. Orland. His first case, which he lost, was defending a West Virginian accused of making moonshine. In addition to his law practice Goff was football coach at Moscow High School for several years, and also a lay reader at the Episcopal Church in Colfax.

He was appointed Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Latah County in 1924 and elected to the position of Prosecuting Attorney in 1926, serving successive terms through 1934.

On August 24, 1927 Abe Goff married Florence Letitia Richardson, a 1923 graduate of the University of Idaho, who was a physical education teacher at the university. They had two children, Timothy Richardson and Annie McGregor.

In 1940 he was elected state senator after an unsuccessful primary campaign for the nomination as U.S. Senator. As state senator he introduced and secured passage of a bill recognizing the power of the Supreme Court to make rules governing procedure in all courts in Idaho. He also introduced bills amending the community property statutes.

In August 1941 he was recalled to active duty as a Major, later being promoted to Colonel, in the Judge Advocate General's Department. One of the first officers to go overseas, in February 1942 he was sent to Africa and the Middle East as legal advisor to the U.S. Military North African Mission, headquartered with the British army in Cairo. He was with the British during Rommel's advance across Africa in the spring of 1942, and also saw duty in Italian East Africa and Iran. He was military envoy to Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia and military escort of Madame Chaing Kai-shek during her visit to Eritrea.

Returning to the United States after sixteen months in Africa, Goff served as assistant chief of the International Law Division in the office of the Judge Advocate General and as Special Council for the War Department in numerous cases in Federal Courts throughout the U.S. involving the constitutionality of wartime powers exercised by army area commanders, and later served as Deputy Director of the U.S. War Crimes Office. He went to London as senior War Department representative to the Allied War Crimes Conference in 1945 and served in Europe and the Pacific area setting up procedures for the prosecution of war criminals. While assigned to General McArthur's staff in Tokyo he organized the International Prosecution Section for the trial of Tojo and other Japanese war criminals, but did not participate in the prosecutions.

He returned to the U.S. and the office of the Under Secretary of War in the spring of 1946 to serve, until relieved from duty in September 1946, as a member of a special clemency board charged with reviewing sentences of convicted military prisoners. He was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Army Commendation Medal, and eight other service or campaign medals.

In 1946, while still on active duty, he was nominated as the Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives seat held by Compton White, Sr. He won this election, and, as a member of the 80th Congress was elected president of the 80th Club, a group composed of 74 first year House Republicans; other officers were J. Caleb Boggs, vice-president, and Richard Nixon, secretary. Goff was also a member of the Committee on Agriculture and of the Speaker's Steering Committee for the House. In 1948 he was defeated in his bid for re-election by White when the First District voted heavily for Truman.

Following this defeat he, returned to active military duty for six months on a special assignment dealing with the new code for courts-martial, as chairman of a Board of Review in the office of the Army Judge Advocate General.

In the summer of 1949 he returned to Moscow to resume his law practice, this time alone, Orland having died in the interim. It was not until 1953, just shortly before going to Washington, D.C., that he took in a new partner, Cope Gale of St. Maries. Following the death of U.S. Senator Bert Miller in 1950, Goff attempted to gain the nomination for his seat, but lost out to former Senator Henry Dworshak.

Following the Eisenhower victory in 1952, Goff wrote many letters to colleagues asking for assistance in getting a federal appointment. His chance came in December 1953, when, at the request of Postmaster Arthur Summerfield, he went to Washington, D.C. to accept the position of Solicitor of the Post Office, a title which was later changed to General Council. His appointment became effective February 1, 1954.

He resigned his Post Office position when President Eisenhower named him to fill Owen Clarke's unexpired Interstate Commerce Commission term. His appointment was confirmed by the Senate on January 30, 1958 and he took his oath of office on February 12. On December 29, 1959, he was reappointed for a full seven-year term. In April 1963 he replaced Donald McPherson as Vice Chairman of the Commission, and in 1964 his colleagues elected him Chairman. Although he had the unanimous endorsement of industry and the practitioners, President Johnson chose not to reappointment him when his term expired in December 1966. Goff remained on the commission until July 1967 when his replacement, Grant Syphers, was confirmed. In Goff's words: "Apparently I am too staunch a Republican and advocate of the independence of the Commission to be reappointed by this highly partisan administration."

Since he was within two years of mandatory retirement when he left the Interstate Commerce Commission, Goff decided to return to Moscow, Idaho, where he spent the remaining 17 years of his life. After several months of ill health, Abe Goff died on Friday, November 23, 1984. He was survived by his wife and daughter, his son having died previously.

He was a member of and held national offices in the Idaho State Bar Association, American Bar Association, American Society of International Law, American Judicature Society, Federal Bar Association, and Judge Advocates Association. He was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Military Appeals, Supreme Court of the Philippines, and the Supreme Court of Idaho. He was also a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Reserve Officers Association, The Military Order of the Carabao, Beta Theta Pi fraternity, Masons, and Elks. He was a longtime member of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Moscow and served as its treasurer for many years while an attorney in town.

SCOPE AND CONTENT

The records of Abe McGregor Goff span the years 1905 to 1985, with the bulk of the material covering the years 1928 to 1971.

Included in the records are personal papers including photographs and scrapbooks of family members, and material concerning his career as politician, lawyer, military officer, post office solicitor, and member of the Interstate Commerce Commission.

As will be noticed in the following inventory the career records are sketchy. More extensive records for the Post Office and Interstate Commerce Commission as well as personal papers will be found in an earlier Goff collection, MG 148. Both inventories should be consulted by researchers since the collections complement each other

ARRANGEMENT AND DESCRIPTION

Since the papers in this record group were received at several different times over a six year period there was no order to the material, therefore the material was sorted by activity and a series arrangement imposed during processing. Each series was arranged alphabetically. Most material was in labeled folders when received; the original folder headings were retained and in most cases the original order within the folders was also retained.

The majority of the papers were considered personal and were placed in series one. Included are biographies and clippings about Goff; correspondence, including over 100 letters he wrote to Florence between 1939 and 1967; engagement calendars of both Abe and Florence; certificates and plaques; invitations and memorabilia from presidential inaugurations from 1953 to 1967; income tax returns and supporting documentation from 1966 to 1983; and speeches given on patriotic occasions or to high school and college audiences. There is also a large collection of photographs which include old family photographs, pictures of Abe, Florence and their children, Abe's military photographs and official photographs from the Post Office Department and Interstate Commerce Commission. Finally there are scrapbooks and memorabilia belonging to Florence, Annie, and Tim. Most of the material in Florence's scrapbook was loose, and only a few pages were used. Therefore the scrapbook was disassembled and only Goff related material retained from the loose clippings.

Material related to Goff's political career is in series two. Included are a certificate of election to the Idaho state senate; and campaign brochures and expense records, a legislative scrapbook, testimony given before congressional committees, copies of speeches delivered in Congress, his voting record and office filed on bills concerning the Post Office and veterans affairs, all relating to his two years in the U.S. House of Representatives. Other material concerns his unsuccessful bid for a second term in the House in 1948 and the Senate primary race in 1950.

Series three contains material relating to Goff's Moscow law practice. Items in this series include correspondence, a portion of the "M:" case files, financial and other reports of the prosecuting Attorney's Association for which Goff was treasurer, quarterly and yearly social security, withholding reports and workman's compensation information, and a file of uncompleted work.

Goff served in both World War I and II and then continued in the Reserves. His records of this aspect of his life are contained in series four. Among these materials are Army records, especially those dealing with his service in Eritrea, an oversize frame containing his medals, folders on military justice, and a military reserve certificate.

The few folders concerning Goff's Post Office career are in series five and include clippings and correspondence.

The final series contains material relating to Goff's career in the Interstate Commerce Commission. Included among these records are clippings, notes on cases or topics before the commission, correspondence and inter-office memos, speeches, testimony before congress while chairman of the commission, and correspondence and clippings concerning his non re-appointment to the commission in 1967.

Most of the material in the collection was in legal size folders; these were changed to letter size. Discarded from the collection were bank statements and paid checks, blank report forms, blank stock certificates, duplicate campaign material, duplicate near print material, greeting cards, unused post cards, programs for events Goff may have attended, news paper clippings not relating to Goff or his family, and a reel to reel tape recording of an unidentified music recital. Yearbooks from Moscow High School were added to the Special Collections yearbook collection and government documents were sent to the Government Documents Department of the library. This reduced the records by 15cubic feet.

SERIES LIST

I. Personal, 1905-1985 1-6

II. Political, 1940-1971 7

III. Law Office, Moscow, 1928-1963 8

IV. Military, 1929-1983 8

V. Post Office, 1954-1978 8

VI. Interstate Commerce Commission, 1958-1981 8-9

INVENTORY

ABE McGREGOR GOFF

Box Folder Description Items

I. Personal, 1905-1985

1	1	Affidavit of birth and birth registration card, 1941-1952	2
	2	AFROTC. World War I talks, 1974-1976	3
	3	Alumni activities, 1967-1983	8
	4	Class of 1924, 1973-1983	17
	5	Class reunion, 1983	20
	6	Class reunion, 1984	15
	7	American Legion District 2 Convention talk, May 1969	9
	8	Associations and organizations, 1942-1973	9
	9	Beta 50th anniversary invitation, 1969	24
	10	Beveridge, Robert H., 1972-1976	20
	11	Biographies of Abe Goff, 1961-1980	8
	12	Boekel, William A., 1968-1979	28
	13	Book: The White House, 1963	1
	14	Borah, Mrs. William A., 1969-1970	12
	15	Career clippings, 1941-1985	46
	16	Certificates, 1917-1979	25
o.s.	17	Certificates: Oversize, 1917-1959	9
	18	Chamber of Commerce, Moscow, 1972-1976	8
	19	Clippings: Duplicates of clippings in scrapbook, 1949-1950	27
	20-21	Home folks, 1928-1980	75
	22-23	People, includes correspondence, 1957-1975	72
	24	Political, 1950-1957	44
	25	Miscellaneous, 1968-1984	40
	26	Colfax, 1910-1983	15
	27	Colfax High School, 1964-1970	16
	28	Convention and speaking engagements, 1965	7
	29	Correspondence: Christmas, 1966-1967	10
	30	Miscellaneous: 1924-1952	45
	31-34	Personal, 1943-1975	300
	35	Postcards, 1945	5
	36-37	Florence, 1939-1967	109
	38	Doffner Mining claims, 1975-1980	7
	39	Donation of papers of University of Idaho, 1965-1967	12
	40	Engagement calendar, 1953	1
	41-42	Engagement calendar, 1964	2
	43-44	Engagement calendars, 1965-1966	2
2	45	Engagement calendar, 1967	1
	46-50	Engagement calendars: Florence, 1939-1969	25
	51	Engagement calendar: Florence, 1983	1
	52	Farm House national convocation talk, Sept. 1968	25
	53-54	Federal Bar Association, Abe Goff treasurer,1960-1967 	123
	55	Football, 1922-1976	12
	56	Furnace, Moscow house, 1968	7
	57	Goff, May Goff Schmerer, 1973-1976	76
	58	Haddon, Otto, 1969	8
	59	Hall of Fame, Stivers, 1972	22
	60	Hodgson, Col. Joseph V., 1967-1974	10
	61	Hollingsworth, Max, 1984	7
	62-64	House, 5348 29th St. NW, Washington, D.C., 1959-1968	66
	65	House: Moscow, Refurbishing, 1969	14
	66	House: Moving, 1967	15
	67	Household goods, Transportation: Army Service, Washington, 1946	5
	68	Howell, Capt. Glenn S., 1971-1973	11
	69	Idahonian and other write-ups, 1970-1983	8
	70	Inauguration, 1953, 1957	3
	71	Inauguration, 1965	2
	72	Inauguration, 1973	1
	73	Income tax, 1966 	11
	74	Income tax, 1967	10
	75	Income tax, 1968	11
	76	Income tax, 1969	12
	77	Income tax, 1970	17
	78	Income tax, 1971	18
	79	Income tax, 1972	15
	80	Income tax, 1973	15
	81	Income tax, 1974	8
	82	Income tax, 1975	15
	83	Income tax, 1978	18
	84	Income tax, 1980	14
	85	Income tax, 1981	14
	86	Income tax, 1982	19
	87	Income tax, 1983	12
3	88	Indian center, Gonzaga, 1965-1968	31
	89	Invitations, 1962-1964	4
	90	Items of interest, 1927-1970	69
	91	July 4th, Lewis-Clark State College, 1979	14
	92	Keep watch for Liberty (talk), 1947	1
	93	Keystone Ranch, 1980-1981	26
	94	Keystone Water Users Association, 1974	8
	95	Lease: 1185 32nd St. N.W., Washington, D.C., 1947	2
	96	Marmes bulwark, 1958	5
	97	McCroskey, Virgil, 1968-1971	30
	98	Medical: Aetna claims, 1969-1978	31
	99-100	Aetna insurance, 1980-1981	60
	101	Reports, 1942-1947	11
	102	Wrist operation, 1981	12
	103	Memorial Day, 1976	11
	104	Memorial Day talk, 1977	11
	105	Memorial Day, 1984	16
	106	Moscow High School Reunion, classes of 1925, 1926, 1927, June 11, 1977	9
	107	Moscow High School talks, 1970-1980	17
	108	Moscow Hospital Association, 1968-1979	7
	109	Moscow Mountain property (Idler's Rest), 1967	30
	110	Moscow's name, 1961-1965	20
	111	Olympic Peninsula property, 1962-1972	127
	112	Oral history - Pioneers (notes), 1974	9
	113	Phi alpha Delta talk, December 4, 1969	10
	114	Photographs: Abe Goff, 1922-1965	11
	115	Florence Goff, 1913-198?	15
	116	Abe and Florence Goff, 1955-1975	5
	117	Family snapshots, 1928-1950	143
	118	Annie Goff, ca. 1940-1956	12
	119	Tim Goff and family, 1944-1975	25
	120	Congress, 1947	3
	121	Military, 1918-1946	16
	122-123	Post Office Department, 1954-1960	55
	124	Interstate Commerce Commission, 1958-1968	41
	125	Beta Banquet, Washington D.C., n.d.	4
	126	Miscellaneous, 1922-1967	10
	127	Unidentified and miscellaneous activities, ca.1935-1974	10
	128	Autographed and other, 1923-1957	10
	129	Goff Insurance, Colfax, n.d.	5
	130	Dorsey family (maternal relatives), n.d.	15
	131	Goff, Arthur and Frank, 1905-1917	28
	132	Goff, Charlie (poster), n.d.	1
	133	Goff, David, 1913-1914	30
	134	Goff relatives, n.d.	9
	135	Takeda, Elizabeth, n.d.	2
o.s.	136	Oversize, 1922-1966	26
	137	Pledge of Allegiance, 1954	2
	138	Politics, 1967-1982	44
	139	Election, 1972	22
	140	Post Office, Moscow, Idaho, 1970	21
	141	Potlatch High School talk, March 8, 1942 	17
	142	Priest Lake Property, 1960-1970	60
	143	Railroads, 1977-1981	4
	144	Recommendations, 1949-1950	18
	145	Red Cross, 1950	9
	146	Resolution in honor of Abe Goff, Idaho House of Representatives, 1943	1
	147	Richardson, George S. and Annie McGregor, 1937-1954	11
	148	Sartor House, overcoat, 1974	6
	149	Sketch of Abe Goff, n.d.	1
	150	Social Security Administration, 1967	21
4	151	St. Marks election, 1984	9
	152	Teaching position, 1964-1968	26
	153	Western Washington State College, 1965-1966	30
	154	Theater Arts: Donation of formal clothes, 1984	5
	155	Veterans Day, 1979	3
	156	Veterans Day, 1980	4
	157	War ration books, 1942	8
	158	White House visit, 1971	17
	159	YMCA, 1950-1951	20
	160	8mm movie of family wedding reception, n.d.	1
	161	Florence: Certificates, 1922-1964	2
	162	Clippings, cards, etc., 1909-1967	31
	163	Diary, December 1946	1
	164	Gamma Phi Beta 50th anniversary, 1960	5
	165	Photograph collection, 1910-1966	70
	166	Scrapbook material, Boise, ca.1921-1923	7
	167-169	Scrapbook material, 1927-1966	112
	170	Scrapbook: Letters from Tim, 1951-1952	1
	171	South America Trip, 1957	35
	172	78 rpm record: Greetings to Richardson family, 1941	1
	173	Annie: Clippings, photographs, etc., 1943-1966	19
	174	Photograph collection, ca.1948-1953	34
	175	Photograph album, n.d.	1
	176	Baby and childhood scrapbook, 1937-1955	35
	177	Scrapbook material, 1939-1946	30
	178	Tim: Photograph collection, 1951-1953	44
	179	Photograph collection, 1940s	35
	180	Photograph album, n.d.	1
	181	Scrapbook material, correspondence, 1940-1950	41
5	182	Scrapbook, 1934-1959	1
	183	Daily diary, 1950	1
	184	Photograph album, ca.1948	1
	185	Photograph album, ca.1953	1
o.s.	186	Scrapbook of Washington school life and other things, 1947-1948	
o.s.	186a-b	Tim Goff's Washington year books, 1948-1949	2
6	Plaques, 1976-1983	7
o.s.	187	Florence Richardson: U of I scrapbook, 1914-1918 	1
o.s.	188	Phonograph recordings of radio addresses of Abe Goff, 1947, 1948	5

II. Political, 1940-1971

7	189	Campaign material, 1941-1950	5
	190	Certificate of election to State Senate, 1940	1
	191	Legislative scrapbook, 1941	1
	192	State Senate, correspondence, etc., 1941	78
	193	Appearances at hearings before Congressional Committees, 1947-1948	9
	194	Campaign expenses, 1946	8
	195	Campaign expense account, 1947-1948	1
	196	Campaign publicity, 1946-1950	35
	197	Congressional career, miscellaneous, 1947-1948	10
	198	Congressional speeches, 1947-1948	25
	199	Correspondence re: photographs, 1947-1948	17
	200	Elections, 1946-1948	9
	201	Individual voting record, 80th Congress, 1947-1948	2
	202	Information on inquiry re: Senate Committee print, courts martial, 1948	5
	203	Pictorial directory, 80th Congress, 1947	2
	204	Post Office: Air mail, 1948	1
	205	General, 1948	7
	206	Railway surface trans. Positions, 1947	5
	207	Postal Employees: Pay increases, 1947-1948	79
	208	Retirement, Civil Service, 1947-1948	37
	209	Postal rates, 1947	16
o.s.	210	Scrapbook, 1946-1947	1
	211-212	Soil conservation, Agriculture, 1946-1948	77
	213	Veterans, Adjusted compensation act, 1947-1948	3
	214	G.I. flight training, 1948	19
	215	80th Congress reunion, 1971	17
	216	Campaign, 1948	67
	217	Clippings and ads, 1948	16
	218	Drew Pearson election comment, 1948	1
	219	Election, 1948	31
	220	Expenses, 1948	8
	221	Politics: Senate, 1949	27
	222	Campaign, 1950	21
	223	Publicity, 1950	13
	224	Signed petitions, 1950	14
	225	Signers of petitions, correspondence, 1950	46
	226	Tour, 1950	8
	227	Travel file, 1950	24
	228	Senate election returns, 1950	20

III. Law Office, Moscow, 1928-1963

8	229-232	Correspondence, A-Z, 1938-1941	355
	233	Law office matters, 1954-1963	110
	234	Miscellaneous correspondence, 1949-1952	81
	235	Mills Novelty vs. Evans, 1941	8
	236	Milsap vs. Friend, 1941	4
	237	Moscow vs. Northwest Refining Co., 1939-1940	22
	238	Moscow Tractor Company, 1941	12
	239	Moscow Welfare Committee, 1939	2
	240	Muir vs. Muir, 1938	13
	241	Mulalley, Walter, 1941	1
	242	Mulfinger - Collins, 1940-1948	5
	243	Mullaley vs. Schultz, 1940	7
	244	Prosecuting Attorney's Association, 1928-1932	59
	245-246	Reports, Quarterly and yearly, 1949-1954	82
	247	Uncompleted work, 1951-1954	24
	248	Workmen's Compensation, 1949-1953	4

IV. Military, 1929-1983

	249	Army records, 1929-1983	30
	250	Army service 201 file, 1937-1962	156
	251	British treaties: Egypt, Iran, Iraq, 1942-1944	9
	252	Eritrea Service Command: progress reports, minutes of staff meetings, 1942-1943	55
	253	United States Military North Africa Mission: Circular file, 1941-1942	64
	254	General orders, 1942	8
	255	Memoranda, 1942	40
	256	North Africa Service Command: Special orders, 1942	37
o.s.	257	Eritrean Gazette, 1941-1943	1
o.s.	258	Military medals, framed	1
	259-260	Military justice, 1946-1972	49
	261	Military metals, decorations, 1942-1968	10
	262	Retired reserve certificate, 1957	1

V. Post Office, 1954-1978

	263	Clippings, 1954-1957	69
	264	Congratulatory letters, 1954	41
	265	Post Office Department, 1956-1978	25

VI. Interstate Commerce Commission, 1958-1981

	266	Administrative law, 1967-1969	6
	267	Administrative procedure, 1967-1968	5
	268	Allowances for trucking cotton, 1967	3
	269	Appointment program, 1958	1
	270	Bureau of the Budget, (old file) 1946	1
	271	Bus segregation case, 1961	5
9	272	C & O, B & O merger case, 1961-1964	5
	273	Chairman Goff, news stories, 1964	14
	274-277	Chairman, Presidential appointment of, 1964-1967	99
	278	Clippings, 1962-1967	69
	279	Commissioners: Correspondence, clippings, 1968-1981	28
	280	Signature reproductions, 1958	1
	281	Critics of the ICC, 1971	54
	282	Democratic National Committee letter: Short Line speech, 1965	10
	283	Ethical standards, Heads of agencies (executive order 11222), 1965-1966	22
	284	Ethics, 1961-1966	27
	285	Executive interference, 1963-1965	56
	286	Exit from ICC, 1967	42
	287	Farewell to ICC, jokes and speeches, 1967	13
	288	GN NP merger, 1967-1970	5
	289	Important memos: Reorganization, engagements, etc., 1964-1967	15
	290-291	Inter-office memos, 1965	375
	292-293	Inter-office memos, 1966	350
	294	Lore and personalities committee, 1965-1966	10
	295	Mergers, 1967	20
	296	Miscellaneous material from desk, 1961-1967	23
	297	Newsletters, 1964-1969	7
	298	Newsletter clippings, 1953-1967	116
	299	Non-reappointment letters, 1967	25
	300	Pacific Northwest Trade Association, 1967-1968	7
	301	Reappointment to ICC, correspondence, clippings, 1966-1967	92
	302	Reappointment, personal memos, 1966	7
	303	Speeches, testimony, articles, 1962-1966	11


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