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Time Person of the Year facts for kids

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Person of the Year is an issue of the United States magazine Time that has come out each year since 1927. Until 1999, it was called "Man of the Year."

The "Person of the Year" is not always a person. It can be a person, group, idea, or thing that "for better or for worse...has done the most to influence the events of the year". This means that being chosen is not an award, like being chosen as the "best person of the year." The Person of the Year may be an enemy of the United States, like Adolf Hitler (1938) or Joseph Stalin (1939 and 1942). Every year, Time chooses the person who they think has had the most effect on the things that have happened in that year (whether those things were good or bad).

The first Person of the Year was aviator Charles Lindbergh, in 1927. Since then, Persons of the Year have included groups, whole generations, important objects, and even the Earth. Since the list began, every serving President of the United States has been a Person of the Year at least once, except for Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, and Gerald Ford. Franklin D. Roosevelt is the only person to have been named Person of the Year three times.

The December 31, 1999 issue of Time named Albert Einstein the "Person of the Century". Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi were chosen as runners-up.

Persons of the Year

Year Image Choice Nationality Lifetime Notes
1927 LindberghStLouis.jpg Charles Lindbergh  USA 1902–1974 In May 1927, Lindbergh was the first person to fly a plane non-stop over the Atlantic Ocean (from New York City, USA to Paris, France).
1928 Walter P. Chrysler at White House (cropped).png Walter Chrysler  USA 1875–1940 In 1928, Chrysler joined his company with Dodge, and began work on the Chrysler Building.
1929 Owen D. Young.jpg Owen D. Young  USA 1874–1962 Young led a committee which wrote the Young Plan. This was a payment plan to help Germany pay reparations for World War I. Germany owed 112 billion marks (US $26.3 billion) for damage caused by the war.
1930 MKGandhi.jpg Mahatma Gandhi  IND 1869–1948 Gandhi was the leader of the Indian independence movement. In 1930, he led the Salt Satyagraha, a 240-mile march to protest the British Raj putting taxes on salt.
1931 Laval 1931.jpg Pierre Laval  France 1883–1945 Laval was a four-time Prime Minister of France. He blocked an international loan package to a big Austrian bank called Creditanstait. The bank had to declare bankruptcy. This was one of the first major bank failures that led to the Great Depression.
1932 Franklin D. Roosevelt TIME Man of the Year 1933 color photo.jpg Franklin D. Roosevelt  USA 1882–1945 Roosevelt won the 1932 United States Presidential election by a landslide, defeating the incumbent, Herbert Hoover.
1933 Hugh S. Johnson.jpg Hugh Samuel Johnson  USA 1882–1942 In 1933, Johnson was made the director of the National Recovery Administration. President Roosevelt gave this agency the job of bringing industry, labor, and government together to create codes of "fair practices" and set prices.
1934 FDR in 1933.jpg Franklin D. Roosevelt  USA 1882–1945 Roosevelt was President of the United States from 1933 to 1945.
1935 Selassie restored.jpg Haile Selassie I Ethiopia Ethiopia 1892–1975 Selassie was the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. In October 1935, Italy invaded Ethiopia, starting the Second Italo-Abyssinian War.
1936 Wallis Simpson -1936.JPG Wallis Simpson  USA 1896–1986 In 1936, King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom decided to abdicate his throne (give up being King) so he could marry Simpson.
1937 Chiang Kai-shek(蔣中正).jpg Chiang Kai-shek  Republic of China 1887–1975 Chiang was Premier of the Republic of China when the Second Sino-Japanese War started in 1937.
Soong May-ling wearing China Air Force pin.jpg Soong May-ling  Republic of China 1898–2003 Soong was Chiang Kai-shek's wife.
1938 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-S33882, Adolf Hitler retouched.jpg Adolf Hitler  Germany 1889–1945 In 1938, Hitler was Chancellor of Germany. That year, Germany invaded Austria and added it to Germany. Hitler also got France, the United Kingdom, and Italy to sign the Munich agreement, which allowed Germany to take over the Sudetenland.
1939 JStalin Secretary general CCCP 1942.jpg Joseph Stalin  USSR 1878–1953 In 1939, Stalin was leading the Soviet Union. He ordered the Soviet Red Army to invade eastern Poland.
1940 Churchill portrait NYP 45063.jpg Winston Churchill  UK 1874–1965 Churchill was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the 1940 Dunkirk evacuation and the Battle of Britain (one of Nazi Germany's first big losses and an important turning point in the war)
1941 Franklin Roosevelt signing declaration of war against Japan.jpg Franklin D. Roosevelt  USA 1882–1945 Roosevelt was President of the United States in 1941 when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. He declared war on Japan, which brought the U.S. into World War II. TIME had actually chosen Dumbo as their "Mammal of the Year" before the Pearl Harbor attack, but quickly changed it afterward.
1942 JStalin Secretary general CCCP 1942.jpg Joseph Stalin  USSR 1878–1953 Stalin was the head of the Soviet Union during the Battle of Stalingrad. The battle lasted until 1943 and many people died, but it stopped the Nazis from moving any farther east or taking over the Soviet Union.
1943 General George C. Marshall, official military photo, 1946.JPEG George Marshall  USA 1880–1959 As Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, Marshall gave the President advice and helped him make decisions about what the military should do during World War II.
1944 General Dwight D. Eisenhower.jpg Dwight D. Eisenhower  USA 1890–1969 Eisenhower was in charge of all Allied troops during the Battle of Normandy in 1944.
1945 Harry-truman.jpg Harry S Truman  USA 1884–1972 Truman became the U.S. President when Roosevelt died in 1945. Truman ordered the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Shortly after the Nagasaki bombing, Japan surrendered and World War II ended.
1946 James Francis Byrnes, at his desk, 1943.jpg James F. Byrnes  USA 1879–1972 Byrnes was U.S. Secretary of State during the Iran crisis of 1946, when the Soviet Union refused to leave parts of Iran that it had occupied during World War II. He also cancelled the Morgenthau Plan, which would have destroyed all the industrial factories in West Germany so it could never fight another war.
1947 General George C. Marshall, official military photo, 1946.JPEG George Marshall  USA 1880–1959 Marshall became U.S. Secretary of state in 1947. He wrote the Marshall Plan, a plan for how the U.S. could help Western Europe recover from World War II.
1948 Truman initiating Korean involvement.jpg Harry S Truman  USA 1884–1972 Truman was elected President in 1948. This was one of the most unexpected wins in American history.
1949 Sir Winston S Churchill.jpg Winston Churchill  UK 1874–1965 Churchill was chosen as the "man of the half-century." By 1949, he was the Leader of the Opposition in the U.K.
1950 U.S. Marines in the Korean War 002.jpg The American fighting-man  USA "The American fighting-man" was chosen to stand for all U.S. soldiers fighting in the Korean War, which started in 1950.
1951 Mossadegh US04.jpg Mohammad Mosaddegh  Iran 1882–1967 Mossadegh was elected Prime Minister of Iran in 1951. He caused the Abadan Crisis by taking over a British oil company. He also kicked all Western companies out of the oil refineries in Abadan, Iran.
1952 Elizabeth and Philip 1953.jpg Elizabeth II Personal flag of Queen Elizabeth II.svg Commonwealth realms 1926– In 1952, Elizabeth became Queen of the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Ceylon, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa. She became Queen after her father, King George VI, died.
1953 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F078072-0004, Konrad Adenauer.jpg Konrad Adenauer  West Germany 1876–1967 In 1953, Adenauer was re-elected as Chancellor of Germany.
1954 JohnFosterDulles.jpeg John Foster Dulles  USA 1888–1959 As United States Secretary of State in 1954, Dulles created the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). SEATO's goal was to stop communists from taking over any more countries in Southeast Asia.
1955 Mr. Harlow H. Curtice, General Manager. Buick Motor Division.jpg Harlow Curtice  USA 1893–1962 Curtice was the head of General Motors from 1953 to 1958. In 1955, GM became the first corporation to earn US$1 billion in a single year. Led by Curtice, they sold five million vehicles that year.
1956 Szétlőtt harckocsi a Móricz Zsigmond körtéren.jpg The Hungarian freedom fighter  Hungary "The Hungarian freedom fighter" honors the people who fought for Hungary's independence from the Soviet Union in the failed Hungarian Revolution of 1956.
1957 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-B0628-0015-035, Nikita S. Chruchstschow.jpg Nikita Khrushchev  USSR 1894–1971 In 1957, Khrushchev became the definite leader of the Soviet Union, after surviving a plan to get rid of him. Also in 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first satellite ever to enter the Earth's orbit. This started the Space Race between the Soviet Union and the U.S.
1958 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F010324-0002, Flughafen Köln-Bonn, Adenauer, de Gaulle-cropped.jpg Charles de Gaulle  France 1890–1970 After being retired from politics for 10 years, de Gaulle was chosen as Prime Minister of France in 1958. After a crisis in May 1958, the French Fourth Republic collapsed and the Fifth Republic was created. It had a new constitution which replaced France's parliamentary government with a government led by a President. De Gaulle was then elected President of the Fifth Republic.
1959 Dwight D. Eisenhower, official photo portrait, May 29, 1959.jpg Dwight D. Eisenhower  USA 1890–1969 Eisenhower was President of the United States from 1953 to 1961.
1960 Two small test tubes held in spring clamps.jpg American Scientists  USA The 1960 award honored all American scientists, represented by George Beadle, Charles Draper, John Enders, Donald A. Glaser, Joshua Lederberg, Willard Libby, Linus Pauling, Edward Purcell, Isidor Rabi, Emilio Segrè, William Shockley, Edward Teller, Charles Townes, James Van Allen, and Robert Woodward
1961 John F. Kennedy, White House color photo portrait.jpg John F. Kennedy  USA 1917–1963 Kennedy became the U.S. President in 1961. He ordered the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. The U.S. trained people who had been kicked out of Cuba to do the invasion. They wanted to remove Fidel Castro from power. The invasion failed terribly.
1962 Pope John XXIII - 1959.jpg Pope John XXIII  Holy See/ Italy 1881–1963 Pope John XXIII led the Catholic Church from 1958-1963. In 1962, he volunteered to help the Soviet Union, Cuba, and the U.S. solve the Cuban Missile Crisis peacefully. All three countries said the Pope did a good job.
1963 Martin Luther King Jr NYWTS.jpg Martin Luther King, Jr.  USA 1929–1968 King was a famous civil rights leader from 1955–1968. He and his supporters used non-violent protests to gain rights for African-American people. In 1963, King gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
1964 37 Lbj2 3x4.jpg Lyndon B. Johnson  USA 1908–1973 Johnson had automatically become President when President Kennedy was murdered in November 1963. However, in 1964, Johnson was elected President. He got the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed; said the U.S. would fight a "War on Poverty"; and got the U.S. more involved in the Vietnam War.
1965 Gen William C Westmoreland.jpg William Westmoreland  USA 1914–2005 General Westmoreland was the commander of all United States soldiers in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
1966 US Birth Rates.svg "The Inheritor" Today, "The Inheritors" are usually called "the baby boomers." In 1966, "The Inheritors" were a generation of people ages 25 and under.
1967 37 Lbj2 3x4.jpg Lyndon B. Johnson  USA 1908–1973 In 1967, Johnson was becoming very unpopular because of the Vietnam War. Protests were getting more common, especially after Johnson sent more soldiers to Vietnam. There were also riots in many cities after Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered. Johnson tried to get more civil rights laws passed, but could not. Also in 1967, Johnson chose Thurgood Marshall as the first African American Supreme Court Justice.
1968 Apollo 8 Crewmembers - GPN-2000-001125.jpg The Apollo 8 astronauts  USA The Apollo 8 astronauts were William Anders, Frank Borman, and Jim Lovell. They were the first people ever to orbit (fly around) the Moon. This was an important step towards walking on the moon.
1969 US map-Central.png The Middle Americans  USA "Middle Americans" are people who live in the center of the United States. In 1969, many conservative, religious Middle Americans started to make their opinions known. For example, one town prayed in their schools after the Supreme Court ruled this was illegal. State legislatures suggested over 100 laws to prevent college students from protesting the war.
1970 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F057884-0009, Willy Brandt.jpg Willy Brandt  West Germany 1913–1992 Brandt was Chancellor of Germany. In 1970, he worked to create a better relationship between his country and East Germany (which was controlled by the Soviet Union).
1971 Richard M. Nixon, ca. 1935 - 1982 - NARA - 530679.jpg Richard Nixon  USA 1913–1994 Nixon was U.S. President from 1969-1974. In 1971, he started improving the U.S.'s relationship with China. He also suggested making health insurance private and supporting Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs). Also in 1971, he created the United States National Postal Service.
1972 Richard M. Nixon, ca. 1935 - 1982 - NARA - 530679.jpg Richard Nixon  USA 1913–1994 In 1972, Nixon visited China. He was the first U.S. President to visit China. He signed the SALT I treaty with the Soviet Union, agreeing that both the U.S. and the Soviets would limit the number of new missiles they made. Later in 1972, he was re-elected President.
Henry Kissinger.jpg Henry Kissinger  USA 1923– Kissinger was Nixon's National Security Advisor. He traveled with Nixon to China.
1973 WatergateFromAir.JPG John Sirica  USA 1904–1992 Sirica was the judge who ordered President Nixon to turn over tape recordings that had to do with the Watergate scandal. The tapes recorded conversations that happened in the White House.
1974 King Faisal of Saudi Arabia on on arrival ceremony welcoming 05-27-1971 (cropped).jpg King Faisal  Saudi Arabia 1906–1975 Faisal was King of Saudi Arabia during the oil crisis of 1973–1974. In 1973, Israel was fighting a group of Arab countries in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. Saudi Arabia refused to ship oil to any of the Western countries that supported Israel. This caused the oil crisis, where many Western countries did not have enough oil.
1975 MarilynMonroe - YankArmyWeekly.jpg American women  USA This award honored feminists in the U.S. who were fighting for equal rights for women. The feminist movement was represented by Susan Brownmiller, Kathleen Byerly, Alison Cheek, Jill Conway, Betty Ford, Ella Grasso, Carla Hills, Barbara Jordan, Billie Jean King, Carol Sutton, Susie Sharp, and Addie Wyatt.
1976 JimmyCarterPortrait2.jpg Jimmy Carter  USA 1924– In 1976, Carter was elected President of the U.S.
1977 Anwar Sadat cropped.jpg Anwar Sadat  Egypt 1918–1981 Sadat was President of Egypt. In 1977, he became the first Arab leader to travel to Israel. The two countries discussed having a better relationship.
1978 DengXiaoping.jpg Deng Xiaoping  People's Republic of China 1904–1997 In 1978, Deng took over the Chinese government in a coup d'état. He overthrew Hua Guofeng and made himself Paramount Leader of the People's Republic of China.
1979 عکسی از خمینی.JPG Ayatollah Khomeini  Iran 1902–1989 In 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini led the Islamic Revolution in Iran. The Revolution overthrew the Shah (King) of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. It made Iran into a theocracy (a country controlled by religious leaders) and an Islamic Republic.
1980 Official Portrait of President Reagan 1981.jpg Ronald Reagan  USA 1911–2004 Reagan was elected President of the U.S. in 1980.
1981 Lech walesa prezydent RP.gif Lech Wałęsa  Poland 1943– Walesa led the Polish Solidarity trade union. This was the first trade union in the Soviet Union that was not controlled by a communist political party. In December 1981, he was arrested and arrest and Poland was put under martial law.
1982 IBM PC 5150.jpg The Computer In 1982, the computer was voted "Machine of the Year."
1983 Official Portrait of President Reagan 1981.jpg Ronald Reagan  USA 1911–2004 In 1983, as President of the U.S., Reagan ordered the Invasion of Grenada and pushed for the Strategic Defense Initiative.
Yuri Andropov - Soviet Life, August 1983.jpg Yuri Andropov  USSR 1914–1984 Andropov was a Soviet leader. He was strongly against Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative. Andropov was hospitalized in August 1983 and died in 1984.
1984 Peter Ueberroth.jpg Peter Ueberroth  USA 1937– Uberroth organized the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. The Soviet Union boycotted the Olympics. They did this because the U.S. had boycotted the 1980 Summer Olympics because they were held in Moscow.
1985 DengXiaoping.jpg Deng Xiaoping  People's Republic of China 1904–1997 Deng was Paramount Leader of China. He was honored for making changes to improve the Chinese economy. He made these changes even though they went against common Marxist beliefs.
1986 Corazon Aquino 1986.jpg Corazon C. Aquino  Philippines 1933–2009 Aquino was an important part of the People Power Revolution in the Philippines. In 1986, the Revolution led to Ferdinand Marcos leaving power. The Philippines became a democracy again. Aquino was elected President of the Philippines.
1987 Mikhail Gorbachev 1987 Cropped.jpg Mikhail Gorbachev  USSR 1931– As leader of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev started a program called Perestroika in 1987. This program tried to improve the Soviet economy.
1988 The Earth seen from Apollo 17.jpg The Endangered Earth "The Endangered Earth" was voted "Planet of the Year" in 1988.
1989 Mikhail Gorbachev 1987 Cropped.jpg Mikhail Gorbachev  USSR 1931– Gorbachev was voted "Man of the Decade." In 1989, as the Soviet Union's leader, Gorbachev made the first free Soviet elections happen. Also in 1989, the Eastern Bloc split into separate countries.
1990 George H. W. Bush, President of the United States, 1989 official portrait.jpg George H. W. Bush  USA 1924– As U.S. President, Bush was in charge of the United States Military during the Gulf War (1990-1991).
1991 Ted Turner LF.JPG Ted Turner  USA 1938– Turner started CNN. In 1991, CNN became very popular. It was the only TV news network that was able to broadcast video live from Iraq when the U.S. and its allies started bombing Iraq. This made CNN more popular than ABC, CBS, and NBC for the first time ever.
1992 Bill Clinton.jpg Bill Clinton  USA 1946– Clinton was elected President of the U.S. in 1992.
1993 Peace sign.svg The Peacemakers Palestinian National Authority Palestinian Authority
 South Africa
Honoring peacemakers, represented by Yasser Arafat, F. W. de Klerk, Nelson Mandela, and Yitzhak Rabin. Arafat (President of the Palestinian National Authority and Rabin (Prime Minister of Israel) signed the 1993 Oslo Accord. This was the first face-to-face agreement between Palestinian and Israeli leaders. De Klerk (State President of South Africa) got Mandela released from prison in 1990. The two worked together to end apartheid.
1994 JohannesPaul2-portrait.jpg Pope John Paul II  Holy See/ Poland 1920–2005 John Paul II was Pope (head of the Catholic Church) from 1978 to 2005. In 1994, he hosted Papal Concert to Commemorate the Holocaust. It was the first event at the Vatican ever to be dedicated to the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust. He also worked for an end to the Rwandan Genocide.
1995 Newt Gingrich by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg Newt Gingrich  USA 1943– Gingrich led the "Republican Revolution", where the U.S. voted in huge numbers for Republican party candidates. Gingrich got elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
1996 David Ho portrait.JPG David Ho  R.O.C/ USA 1952– Ho was a scientist who researched AIDS. He made many important discoveries about AIDS.
1997 Andrew Grove.jpg Andrew Grove  Hungary/ USA 1936– Grove became President and CEO of Intel in 1997. Since he helped start the company in 1968, he helped invent microprocessors. They are so important for computers that even today, almost every electronic device has a microprocessor.
1998 Bill Clinton.jpg Bill Clinton  USA 1946– Clinton was impeached in 1998 about the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Clinton was found not guilty by the U.S. Senate.
Starr-large (1).jpg Kenneth Starr  USA 1946– Starr was an investigator for Congress. He wrote a book called The Starr Report which was released to the public in 1998. It became very popular.
1999 Jeff Bezos' iconic laugh.jpg Jeffrey P. Bezos  USA 1964– TIME also voted Bezos one of the Most Important People of the Century. He created, which became the world's most popular online store. He also created video streaming and many other important computer-related things.
2000 George-W-Bush.jpeg George W. Bush  USA 1946– In 2000, Bush was elected President of the U.S. The election was very close, and the Supreme Court had to decide who the winner was.
2001 Rudy Giuliani.jpg Rudolph Giuliani  USA 1944– Giuliani was Mayor of New York City during the September 11th attacks.
2002 Whistle icon.svg The Whistleblowers  USA Honoring "the Whistleblowers" (people who tell police or the public about illegal things companies are doing). Represented by Cynthia Cooper (WorldCom), Coleen Rowley (FBI), and Sherron Watkins (Enron)
2003 2ID Recon Baghdad.jpg The American soldier  USA Honoring U.S. soldiers around the world, but especially in the War in Iraq, which started in 2003.
2004 George-W-Bush.jpeg George W. Bush  USA 1946– In 2004, Bush was re-elected President of the U.S. As President, he continued to be in charge of the U.S. military in Iraq.
2005 Bill og Melinda Gates 2009-06-03 (bilde 01).JPG
Bono WEF 2008.jpg
The Good Samaritans  Ireland
Represented by philanthropists Bono, Bill Gates, and Melinda Gates. Bono, a member of the rock band U2, helped to organise the 2005 Live 8 concerts, which raised money for poor countries. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and then the richest person in the world, founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with his wife.
2006 Pointing to you.jpg You Aeth.png Earth TIME made "You" the 2006 person of the year. "You" represent the millions of people who create things on the Internet (like websites, blogs, or Wikipedia pages)
2007 Vladimir Putin official portrait.jpg Vladimir Putin  Russia 1952– In 2007, Putin was serving as President of Russia. He dissolved the government before an upcoming parliamentary election.
2008 Official portrait of Barack Obama.jpg Barack Obama  USA 1961– .In 2008, the U.S. voted Obama the next President of the U.S. In January 2009, when he was sworn in, he became first African-American President in U.S. history.
2009 Ben Bernanke official portrait.jpg Ben Bernanke  USA 1953– Bernanke was the Chairman (head) of the Federal Reserve during the Financial crisis of 2007–2008
2010 Mark Zuckerberg at the 37th G8 Summit in Deauville 037.jpg Mark Zuckerberg  USA 1984– Zuckerberg founded the famous website Facebook
2011 Hundreds of thousands of Bahrainis taking part in march of loyalty to martyrs.jpg The Protester "The Protester" represented the many protest movements that happened around the world in 2011. These included the Arab Spring, the Indignants Movement, Tea Party movement, Occupy Movement, and protests in Greece, India and Russia
2012 Official portrait of Barack Obama.jpg Barack Obama  USA 1961– In 2012, Obama was re-elected President of the United States.
2013 Pope Francis in March 2013 (cropped).jpg Pope Francis  Vatican City/ Argentina 1936– Francis was elected head of the Roman Catholic Church in 2013, after the last Pope, Benedict XVI, gave up the position
2014 Army researcher fighting Ebola on front lines (14841171181).jpg Ebola fighters  Liberia
 United States
"Ebola fighters" honors health care workers who helped fight the spread of Ebola virus during the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. This meant not only to doctors and nurses, but also ambulance workers, burial parties, and everyone else who fought Ebola in any way.
2015 Angela Merkel Juli 2010 - 3zu4.jpg Angela Merkel  Germany 1954– Merkel was Chancellor of Germany since 2005. She was honored for her leadership in the Greek debt crisis and European migrant crisis.
2016 Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore.jpg Donald Trump  USA 1946- On November 9, 2016, Trump was elected President of the United States in the 2016 United States presidential election.

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1951 – 1980

1980 – 2000

2001 – 2016

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