# How to write date range succinctly and unambiguously in American written English?

How to write date range succinctly and unambiguously in American written English? In a sentence I usually use "from January 1, 1923 through December 31, 1986". But it is too long for use in section titles. It is relatively easy to find [documentation on single date formatting](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_and_time_notation_by_country) compliant to standards and conventions for different locales. But I can't seem to find standards on date ranges formatting. For example, for American English, how to format a date range so it's both succinct and unambiguous? If the ends have different years, both should show up, e.g. 5/1/2011 - 5/4/2012. What if the two years are same? I don't like 5/12/2012 - 7/21/2012 as it repeats the year unnecessarily; 5/12 - 7/21/2012 seems odd too. Any suggestions?

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