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I have to give Facebook credit for making this pretty easy.
1. Log on to Facebook, go into your settings and choose "Account Settings."
2. At the bottom of "General Account Settings" there should be a small link that reads "Download a copy of your Facebook data." Click that.
3. "Download your information" should appear, with a "Start My Archive" button. Click the button and Facebook should compile an archive and send it to your primary email address. It may take a few minutes, but that should be all you have to do. Of course, you should double check to make sure before you delete the account.