( ) is a state
in the Western United States
The western third of the state contains numerous mountain ranges;
other 'island' ranges are found in the central third of the state,
for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains
. This geographical fact is
reflected in the state's name, derived from the Spanish
The state nickname is the "Treasure State." Other nicknames include
"Land of Shining Mountains," "Big Sky Country," and the slogan "The
Last Best Place." The state ranks fourth in area, but 44th in
population, and therefore has the third lowest population density
in the United States.
The economy is primarily based on ranching, wheat farming, oil and
coal in the east; lumber, tourism, and hard rock mining in the
west. Millions of tourists annually visit Glacier National
Park, the Battle of Little Bighorn site, and three of the five entrances to Yellowstone
land area of the state of Montana is the fourth largest in the
United States (after Alaska, Texas, and
Map of Montana
To the north, Montana and Canada share a
border. The state borders the three Canadian provinces of British
Columbia, Alberta, and
Saskatchewan, more than any other state. To the east, the state
Dakota and South
Dakota. To the south lies Wyoming and to the
west and southwest is Idaho.
The topography of the state is diverse, and roughly defined by the
which runs on
an approximate diagonal line through the state from northwest to
south-central, splitting it into two distinct eastern and western
regions. Montana is well known for its mountainous western region,
most of which are geologically and geographically part of the
Northern Rocky Mountains
Absaroka and Beartooth ranges in the south are technically part of
the Central Rocky Mountains; however, about 60% of the state is
prairie, part of the northern Great Plains.
Nonetheless, even east of the Continental Divide
and the Rocky Mountain Front
, there are a
number of isolated "island ranges" that dot the prairie landscape.
This island range region covers most of the central third of the
Bitterroot Mountains—one of the
longest continuous ranges in the entire Rocky Mountain chain from
Alaska to Mexico—divide the
state from Idaho to the west, with the southern third of the range
blending into the Continental Divide.
between the Bitterroots and the top of the Continental Divide
include the Cabinet Mountains, the Missions, the Garnet, Sapphire,
Flint Creek, and Pintlar ranges.
northern section of the Divide, where the mountains give way
rapidly to prairie, is known collectively as the Rocky Mountain Front and is most
pronounced in the Lewis Range, located
primarily in Glacier National Park. Due to the configuration of mountain ranges
in Glacier National Park, the Northern
Divide (which begins in Alaska's Seward Peninsula) crosses this region and turns east in Montana at
Peak. Thus, the Waterton, Belly, and Saint Mary
rivers flow north into Alberta, joining the Saskatchewan River, which ultimately
empties into Hudson
the divide, several parallel ranges march across the southern half
of the state, including the Gravelly Range; the Tobacco Roots; the
Madison Range; Gallatin Range; Big
Belt Mountains; Bridger Mountains; Absaroka
Mountains; and the Beartooth
Mountains. The Beartooth Plateau is the largest
continuous land mass over in the continental United States and
contains the highest point in the state, Granite
St. Mary Lake in Glacier National
Between the mountain ranges are many scenic valleys, rich in
agricultural resources and rivers, and possessing multiple
opportunities for tourism and recreation. Among the best-known
areas are the Flathead Valley,
Valley, Big Hole Valley, and Gallatin Valley.
north of this transition zone are expansive, sparsely populated
Plains, with rolling tableland prairies, "island" mountain
ranges, and scenic badlands extending into
the Dakotas, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Wyoming.
isolated island ranges east of the Divide include the Castle
Mountains, Crazy Mountains, Little
Belt Mountains, Snowy Mountains, Sweet Grass Hills, Bull Mountains,
the Pryor Mountains south of Billings and—in the southeastern
corner of the state near Ekalaka—the Long Pines and Short Pines.
east of the divide in the north-central portion of the state is
known for the Missouri Breaks and other significant rock formations.
stately buttes south of Great
Falls are familiar landmarks.
These buttes, Square
Butte, Shaw Butte, and Crown Butte, are made of igneous rock
, which is dense and has withstood
weathering for many years. The underlying surface consists of
. Many areas around these buttes are
covered with clay surface soils. These soils have been derived from
the weathering of the Colorado Formation. Farther east, areas
such as Makoshika
State Park near Glendive, and Medicine Rocks State Park near Ekalaka also
highlight some of the most scenic badlands regions in the
Montana also contains a number of rivers, many of which are known
for "blue-ribbon" trout fishing, while also providing most of the
water needed by residents of the state, as well as being a source
. Montana is one of few
geographic areas in the world whose rivers form parts of
three major watersheds (i.e. where two continental divides
intersect): The Pacific
Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and Hudson
Bay which are divided atop Triple
Divide Peak in Glacier National Park.
the divide, the Clark Fork of the
Columbia (not to be confused with the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone
River) rises in the Rocky Mountains near Butte and flows northwest
to Missoula, where it is joined by the Blackfoot River and Bitterroot
River and further downstream by the Flathead River before entering Idaho near
Oreille, becoming part of the Columbia River, which flows to the Pacific Ocean.
The Clark Fork discharges the greatest
volume of water of any river exiting the state. The Flathead River
and Kootenai River
also drain major
portions of the western half of the state.
the divide, the Missouri
River—formed by the confluence of the Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin rivers—crosses the central part of
the state, flows through the Missouri breaks and enters North Dakota. The Yellowstone
River rises in Yellowstone Park in Wyoming, flows north to Livingston, Montana, where it then turns east and flows through
Billings, continuing across the state until it joins the Missouri
River a few miles east of the North Dakota boundary.
Yellowstone River is the longest undammed, free-flowing river in
North America. Other major Montana tributaries of the Missouri
include the Milk
, Tongue, and Musselshell Rivers.
also claims the disputed title of possessing the "world's shortest
river," the Roe River, just outside
Montana. These rivers ultimately join the Mississippi River and flow into the
addition to its rivers, the state is home to Flathead Lake, the largest natural fresh-water lake in the
western United States. Man-made reservoirs
dot Montana's rivers, the largest of which is Fort Peck Reservoir, on the Missouri river, contained by the
largest earthen dam in the world.
Vegetation of the state includes lodgepole pine
, ponderosa pine
; douglas fir
, red cedar
; rocky mountain maple
cover approximately 25% of the state. Flowers native to Montana
. Several species of sagebrush
species of grasses
are common. Many species of
are also found in the state.
contains Glacier National Park, 'The Crown of the Continent,' and portions of
National Park, including three of the Park's five
entrances. Other federally recognized sites include the
Bighorn National Monument; Bighorn Canyon National Recreation
Area; Big Hole National Battlefield; Lewis and Clark Caverns; and the National Bison Range.
Montana has ten National Forest
and more than
20 National Wildlife
. The Federal government administers . are administered
as state parks
Areas managed by the National Park
Indian reservations are located in Montana: Fort Peck Indian Reservation,
Fort Belknap Indian
Reservation, Northern Cheyenne Indian
Reservation, Crow Indian
Reservation, Rocky Boy's Indian
Indian Reservation, and the Flathead Indian
Montana is a large state with considerable variation in geography,
hence the climate is equally varied. The state spans from 'below'
the 45th parallel (i.e. the halfway line between the equator and
the north pole) to the 49th parallel, and elevations range from
under to nearly above sea level. The western half is mountainous,
interrupted by numerous large valleys. Eastern Montana comprises
plains and badlands, broken by hills and isolated mountain ranges,
and has a semi-arid continental climate
. The Continental Divide
through the western mountainous half, and has a great effect on the
climate. It restricts the flow of warmer air from the Pacific from
moving east, and cooler, drier continental moving west. West of the
divide, the climate is described as modified northern Pacific coast
climate, with milder winters, cooler summers, less wind, and a
longer growing season. In the winter, valley fog and low clouds
often form in the valleys west of the divide, but this is rarely
seen in the east.
Average daytime temperatures vary from in January to in July. The
variation in geography leads to great variation in temperature.
weather occurs in the eastern plains on occasion, the highest
observed being at Glendive on July 20, 1893, and Medicine Lake on July 5,
Throughout the state, summer nights are generally cool
and pleasant. Temperatures decrease with altitude, and hot weather
is unknown above Snowfall is not unknown any month of the year in
the central part of Montana, but is rare in July and August.
The coldest temperature on record for Montana is also the coldest
temperature for the entire continental U.S. On January 20, 1954,
was recorded at a gold mining camp near Rogers Pass. Temperatures vary
greatly on such cold nights, and Helena, to the
southeast had a low of only . Winter cold spells
last a week or so, and are usually the result of cold continental air coming south from Canada.
The front is often well defined, causing a large temperature drop
in a 24-hour period. Conversely, air flow from the southwest
results in "Chinooks
". These steady
25-50 mph (or more) winds can suddenly warm parts of Montana,
especially areas just to the east of the mountains, where
temperatures sometimes rise up to 50°F (28°C) - 60°F (33°C).
Loma, Montana is the location of the most extreme recorded
temperature change in a 24-hour period in the United States.
On January 15, 1972, the temperature rose from to .
Average annual precipitation is , but great variations are seen.
The mountain ranges block the moist Pacific air, holding moisture
in the western valleys, and creating rain shadows to the east.
Heron, in the west, receives the most precipitation, . On the eastern
(leeward) side of a mountain range, the
valleys are much drier; Lonepine averages , and Deer
Lodge of precipitation. The mountains
themselves can receive over , for example the Grinnell
Glacier in Glacier National Park gets .
Perhaps the driest is an area
southwest of Belfry that averaged only over a sixteen-year period.
Most of the larger cities get of snow each year. Mountain ranges
themselves can accumulate of snow during a winter. Heavy snowstorms
may occur as early as September or as late as May, though most snow
falls from November to March.
The climate has become warmer in Montana and continues to do so.
The glaciers in Glacier National Park have receded and are
predicted to melt away completely in a few decades. Many Montana
cities set heat records during July 2007, the hottest month ever
recorded in Montana. Winters are warmer, too, and have fewer cold
spells. Previously these cold spells had killed off bark beetles
which are now attacking the forests
of western Montana. The combination of warmer weather, attack by
beetles, and mismanagement during past years has led to a
substantial increase in the severity of forest fires
in Montana. According to a study
done for the U.S.
by the Harvard School of Engineering and
Applied Science, portions of Montana will experience a 200%
increase in area burned by wildland fires, and an 80% increase in
air pollution from those fires.
Native Americans were the first inhabitants of the state of
Montana. Groups included the Crow
south-central area, the Cheyenne
southeast, the Blackfeet
in the central and north-central area and the Kootenai
smaller Pend d'Oreille and Kalispel tribes lived near Flathead Lake and the western mountains,
Montana east of the continental
was part of the Louisiana
in 1803. Subsequent to the Lewis and Clark Expedition
after the finding of gold and copper (see the Copper Kings
) in the state in the late 1850s,
Montana became a United States
on May 26, 1864, and the 41st state on November 8, 1889.
The first permanent white settlement in Montana was founded by
Missionaries. From interactions with
Iroquois Indians between 1812 and 1820, the Salish
Indians leaned about Missionaries
("blackrobes") that worked with native peoples teaching about
agriculture, medicine, and religion. Interest in these “blackrobes”
grew among the Salish and, in three expeditions between 1831 and
1837, the Salish emissaries to St. Louis, Missouri to request a
“blackrobe” to come to their homeland. Initially the Salish were
directed to William Clark
(of Lewis and Clark Expedition fame), who was the territorial
administrator at the time. Through Clark, they were introduced to St.
Louis Bishop Joseph Rosati who assured
them that missionaries would be sent to the Bitter Root
Valley when funds and missionaries were available in the
future. After several more entreaties by the Salish,
Father Pierre-Jean DeSmet arrived
in western Montana near present-day Stevensville in the fall of 1841 and developed a settlement
known as St. Mary’s Mission.
A chapel was built
followed by other permanent structures including log cabins and
Montana’s first pharmacy.
In 1850 Major John Owen
arrived in the valley and set up camp
north of St. Mary’s. In time, Major Owen established a trading post
and military strong point named Fort Owen, which served the
settlers, Indians, and missionaries in the Bitterroot Valley.
Territory) was established in Spring 1867. It is located west of
Falls in the Sun River Valley and was one of three posts
authorized to be built by Congress in 1865. The other two posts
in the Montana Territory were Camp
Cooke on the Judith
River and Fort C.F.
Smith on the Bozeman Trail
in south central Montana
Territory. Fort Shaw, named after Colonel Robert Gould Shaw
, who commanded the
, one of the first all African-American
regiments, during the
American Civil War
, was built of
adobe and lumber by the 13th Infantry. The fort had a parade ground
that was , and consisted of barracks for officers, a hospital
, and a trading post, and could house up to
450 soldiers. Completed in 1868, it was used by military personnel
After the close of the military post, the government established
Fort Shaw as a school to provide industrial training to young
Native Americans. The Fort Shaw Indian Industrial School was opened
on April 30, 1892. The school had at one time 17 faculty members,
11 Indian assistants and 300 students. The school made use of over
20 of the buildings built by the Army.
The revised Homestead Act
of the early
1900s greatly affected the settlement of Montana. This act expanded
the land that was provided by the Homestead Act of 1862
from to . When
the latter act was signed by President William Howard Taft
, it also reduced the
time necessary to prove up from five years to three years and
permitted five months' absence from the claim each year.
the Sun River Irrigation Project, west of Great
Falls was opened up for homesteading.
, a person could
obtain 40 acres (16 ha). Most of the people who came to file on
were young couples who
were eager to live near mountains where hunting and fishing were
good. Many of these homesteaders came from the Midwest
Montana was the scene of the Native Americans' last effort to keep
their land, and the last stand
Lieutenant Colonel George
was fought near the present day town of
Hardin. Montana was also the location of the final battles of the
Nez Perce Wars
Cattle ranching has long been central to Montana's history and
economy. The Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic
Site in Deer Lodge Valley is maintained as a link to the
ranching style of the late 19th century.
It is operated by
the National Park Service
is also a working ranch.
Montana Population Density Map
Montana ranks 44th in population; only six states (Alaska, Wyoming,
South Dakota, North Dakota, Vermont and Delaware) have fewer
people. As of 2008, Montana has an estimated population of 967,440,
slightly less than either Rhode Island or Hawaii, which is an
increase of 65,245, or 7.2%, since the year 2000 and a 21.1%
increase since 1990. Growth is mainly concentrated in Montana's
seven largest counties, with the heaviest growth in Bozeman's
Gallatin County, which saw a 78% increase in its population since
According to the 2000 U.S. Census
, 94.8% of the population aged 5 and
older speak English
center of population of Montana
is located in Meagher
County, in the city of White
ancestry is the largest
ancestry in most of Montana, residents of Scandinavian
ancestry are prevalent in some of
the farming-dominated northern and eastern prairie regions. There
are also several predominantly Native American
counties, mostly around each of the seven Indian reservations.
historically mining-oriented communities of western Montana such as
Butte have a
wider range of ethnic groups, particularly people of Eastern European and Irish ancestry,
as well as people who originally emigrated from British mining regions such as Cornwall. Montana is second only to South Dakota in U.S. Hutterite
population with several colonies spread across the state. Many of
Montana's historic logging communities originally attracted people
, and Scots-Irish
descent. Montana's Hispanic population is
particularly concentrated around the Billings area in south-central Montana, and the highest
density of African-Americans is
located in Great
The religious affiliations of the people of Montana
- Christian – 82%
- Other Religions – <1%></1%>
- Non-Religious – 18%
The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2000 were the
Roman Catholic Church
169,250; the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America
with 50,287; and as of Dec. 31, 2007 The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Bureau of
estimates that Montana's total state product
in 2003 was $26 billion. Per capita personal income in 2003 was
$25,406, 47th in the nation. However, this number is rapidly
increasing. According to the Missoulian
, the economy has
grown rapidly since 2003; in 2005, Montana ranked 39th in the
nation with an average per capita personal income of $29,387.
The economy is primarily based on agriculture, and major crops
, seed potatoes
. Montana is also a relative hub of
, ranking third in the
nation in number of craft breweries per capita. There are
significant industries for lumber
the state's resources include gold
, and vermiculite
Tourism is also important to the economy with
millions of visitors a year to Glacier
National Park, Flathead
Lake, the Missouri River headwaters, the site of the Battle of
Little Bighorn and three of the five entrances to Yellowstone
Montana's personal income tax
brackets, with rates ranging from 1% to 6.9%. Montana has no
. In Montana, household goods are
exempt from property taxes
property taxes are assessed on livestock
farm machinery, heavy equipment, automobiles, trucks, and business
equipment. The amount of property tax owed is not determined solely
by the property's value. The property's value is multiplied by a
tax rate, set by the Montana Legislature, to determine its taxable
value. The taxable value is then multiplied by the mill levy
established by various taxing
jurisdictions – city and county government, school districts and
Railroads have been an important method of transportation in
Montana since the 1880s. Historically, the state was traversed by
the main lines of three east-west transcontinental routes: the
, the Great Northern
, and the
the BNSF Railway
is the state's largest
railroad, its main transcontinental route incorporating the former
Great Northern main line across the state. Montana RailLink
, a privately-held Class II railroad
, operates former
Northern Pacific trackage in western Montana.
addition, Amtrak's Empire Builder train runs through the
north of the state, stopping in the following towns: Libby, Whitefish, West Glacier, Essex, East Glacier
Park, Browning, Cut Bank, Shelby, Havre, Malta, Glasgow, and Wolf Point.
three largest commercial airports serve Bozeman, Billings, and Missoula; smaller airports at Great Falls
International Airport, Kalispell, Helena, and Butte also serve multiple commercial carriers.
Eight smaller communities have airports designated for commercial
service under the Essential Air
Historically, the primary east-west highway route across Montana
was U.S. Route 10
, which connected the major cities in
the southern half of the state. Still the state's most important
east-west travel corridor, the route is today served by Interstate 90
and Interstate 94
. U.S. Routes 2
and Montana Highway 200
also traverse the
entire state from east to west.
Montana's only north-south Interstate
. Other major north-south highways include U.S. Routes 87
Law and government
The current Governor is Brian
(Democrat) who was sworn in on January 3, 2005. Its
two U.S. senators are Max Baucus
(Democrat) and Jon Tester
Montana's congressional representative is Denny Rehberg
The state was the first to elect a female member of Congress
) (Republican) and was one
of the first states to give women voting rights (see suffrage
). Despite its sizable American Indian
population, Montana is one of the most homogenous
states — nearly 90% of its
residents are of European
descent, with a
large number of immigrants of German
heritage arriving in the
late 19th and early 20th centuries. A significant portion of Chinese
(Cantonese) immigrants also came
and left an indelible mark on the state, especially in the mining
cities of Helena, Butte, and Anaconda.
State capitol in Helena
Historically, Montana is a swing state
of cross-ticket voters with a tradition of sending "liberals to
Helena (the state capital) and conservatives to Washington."
However, there have also been long-term shifts of party control.
During the 1970s, the state was dominated by the Democratic Party
Democratic governors for a 20-year period, and a Democratic
majority of both the national congressional delegation and during
many sessions of the state legislature. This pattern shifted,
beginning with the 1988 election, when Montana elected a Republican
governor and sent
a Republican to the U.S. Senate for the first time since the 1940s.
This shift continued with the reapportionment
of the state's legislative
districts that took effect in 1994, when the Republican Party took
control of both houses of the state legislature, consolidating a
party dominance that lasted until 2004. The state last supported a
Democrat for president in 1992, when Bill
won a plurality victory. Overall, since 1889 the state
has voted for Democratic governors 60% of the time and Democratic
presidents 40% of the time, with these numbers being 40/60 for
In recent years, Montana has been classified as a
Republican-leaning state, as the state supported President George W. Bush
by a wide margin in 2000 and 2004. However, the state currently has
two Democratic U.S. Senators and a Democratic governor (Brian Schweitzer
), elected in 2004. In the
, Democratic candidate Jon
narrowly defeated (by only 3000 votes) incumbent
Republican Senator Conrad Burns
,one of several crucial races that
allowed the Democratic Party to win the majority in the U.S.
Senate. Montana's lone US Representative, Republican Denny Rehberg
, easily won reelection in 2006
as well as in 2008. Long time Senator Max
won reelection in 2008 with a massive majority of votes.
The state Senate
is, as of
2009, controlled by the Republicans. The State House of
is tied with the speaker of the house coming
from the Democratic
. In the 2008 presidential
, Montana was considered a swing
and was ultimately won by Republican John McCain, albeit
by a narrow margin of two percent.
On April 17, 2007, Montana became the first state to pass
legislation against the federal government's Real ID Act
. Gov. Schweitzer signed a bill
banning the Montana Motor Vehicle Division from enforcing the new
Montana is an Alcoholic
beverage control state
Important cities and towns
Billings skyline & Sacrifice
Some of the cities (with 2008 U.S. Census Metropolitan/Micropolitan
population estimates) in Montana are:
Some of the major towns in Montana are:
The State of Montana has 56 counties
Montana Counties Ranked By 2008
||Lewis and Clark County
||Silver Bow County
||Sweet Grass County
||Big Horn County
||Judith Basin County
||Powder River County
||Deer Lodge County
||Golden Valley County
Colleges and universities
There are no major
sports franchises in Montana, due to the state's
relatively small and dispersed population, but a number of minor league
teams play in the state. Baseball
is the minor-league sport with the longest
heritage in the state, and Montana is currently home to four
Minor League baseball teams
all members of the Pioneer
The Billings Outlaws
professional indoor football
affiliated with the United Indoor
Collegiate and amateur sports
All of Montana's four-year colleges and universities field a
variety of intercollegiate sports teams. The two largest
schools, the University of Montana and Montana State University, are members of the Big Sky Conference and have enjoyed a
strong athletic rivalry since the early twentieth century.
Most of the smaller four-year schools in the state belong to the
are the two most popular sports at the
high school level. Montana is one of the few states where the
smallest high schools participate in six-man football
Numerous other sports are played at the club and amateur level,
, and soccer
Since 1988, the Montana High School All Class Wrestling
Tournament has been held in Billings at
MetraPark. This event remains one of the most popular high school
events each year in Montana.
There are five junior hockey
Montana, all affiliated with the Northern Pacific Hockey
In 1904 a group of young Native American women, after playing
undefeated during their last season, went to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition
held in St. Louis and defeated all challenging teams and were
declared to be world champions. For this they received a large
silver trophy with the inscription "World's Fair - St. Louis, 1904
- Basket Ball - Won by Fort Shaw Team".
Montana in popular culture
- The protagonist in Ernest
Hemingway's For Whom the
Bell Tolls (1940), Robert Jordan, is a native Montanan.
The book was adapted as a film in 1943, starring Gary Cooper, a native Montanan himself.
he was from Illinois and had ties to Idaho and Michigan, Hemingway also traveled to Montana extensively,
and much of his family still lives in the state today.
- The 1994 film Legends of the
Fall which stars Brad Pitt,
Anthony Hopkins and Aidan Quinn takes place in remote Montana and
briefly in Helena . It is about a family's
struggle to live through World War 1,
the Prohibition 1920s and the 1930s.
Directed by Edward Zwick.
1992 film A River Runs
Through It takes place in and around Missoula,
Montana, although much of the filming was done on the
Gallatin and Madison rivers south of Bozeman. The film is
about the Prohibition era of the 1920s.
It stars Brad Pitt, Craig Sheffer and Tom
Skerritt. Directed by Robert
- In the animated series King of
the Hill, Peggy Hill was born
and raised Montanan to cattle ranchers. She now resides in Arlen, Texas with husband Hank Hill and son Bobby Hill.
Knockaround Guys takes
place in a small Montana town although the majority of the film was
shot in Canada. Scenes from the film however, were shot in
Montana and Glasgow, Montana. The film concerns four mobsters from
City who get embroiled with the corrupt local law
enforcement over a bag of cash.
- The planned battleship USS Montana was named in honor of the
state. However, the battleship was never completed, making Montana
the only one of the 48 states during World War II not to have a
battleship named after it. Additionally, Alaska and Hawaii have both had nuclear submarines named after
them. As such Montana is the only state in the union without
a modern naval ship named in its honor. However, in August 2007
Senator Jon Tester made a request to the
Navy that a submarine be christened USS
- The Hell Creek Formation is
a major source of dinosaur fossils. Paleontologist Jack Horner, of the Museum
of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana, brought this formation to the world's
attention with several major finds. For example, Jane was discovered in 2001 in Hell Creek
and is the world's most complete juvenile tyrannosaurus
- In 1902, a group of female students from the Fort Shaw Indian
Industrial School began playing basketball and traveled throughout Montana,
defeating high school teams and some college teams. In 1904, the
girls' basketball team traveled by train to the St. Louis World's Fair. Over a
period of five months, the team was challenged by numerous other
basketball teams and won every contest, returning to Fort Shaw with
the "world champion" trophy. On May 1, 2004, a monument in honor of
the basketball team was unveiled at the entrance of the present-day
Fort Shaw Elementary School.
- In the movie 'Star Trek:
First Contact', Montana is the location of the fictitious first
contact between humans and an alien race, the Vulcans. Star Trek producer
Brannon Braga is originally from
Montana. However, no Montana locations were used
in the shooting of the film.
- Montana has the largest grizzly
bear population in the lower 48 states.
- Montana's triple divide allows water to
flow into three oceans: the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean (Gulf of
Mexico), and the Arctic Ocean (Hudson
Bay). This phenomenon occurs at Triple
Divide Peak in Glacier National Park.
1888, Helena (the current state capital) had more millionaires
per capita than any other city in the world.
Montana's state quarter, released in
- State flower: Bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva), since
- State tree: Ponderosa Pine, since 1949
- State animal: Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos
horribilis), since 1862
- State bird: Western Meadowlark (Sturnella
neglecta), since 1931
- State fish: Westslope cutthroat trout, since
- State Song: "Montana", since 1945
- State Ballad: "Montana Melody", since 1983
- State Gemstones: Yogo Sapphire &
- State Fossil: Maiasaur
("Duck-billed Dinosaur") (Maiasaura
peeblesorum), since 1985
- State Butterfly: Mourning cloak
(Nymphalis antiopa), since 2001
- State Grass: Bluebunch
wheatgrass, since 1973
- State Motto: "Oro y Plata" (Spanish: Gold and Silver)
Montana has several ski areas including:
- Montana was awarded the award for Having the Best State
Government and Citizens by President George W. Bush
To read more about this award, and more about Montana read these
- Axline, Jon, et al.
Still Speaking Ill of the Dead: More Jerks in Montana
History. Falcon Press, 2005. ISBN
- Bennion, Jon. Big Sky
Politics. Five Valleys Publishing, April 2004. ISBN
- Doig, Ivan, Dancing at the Rascal
Fair. Scribner: 1987. ISBN 0-689-11764-7.
- Doig, Ivan, English Creek.
Peter Smith Publisher Inc: 1992. ISBN
- Howard, Joseph Kinsey.
Montana: High, Wide, and Handsome. Bison Books: 2003.
- Howard, Joseph Kinsey.
Montana Margins: A State Anthology. Yale University
Press,: 1946. ISBN 0-8369-2652-8.
- Kittredge, William. The
Last Best Place: A Montana Anthology. (From the back cover:
"...over 230 stories, poems, reminiscences, and reports written by
140 men and women. The book is divided into eight sections with
introductory essays by William Bevis,
Mary Clearman Blew, William Kittredge, William Lang, Richard Roeder, Annick Smith, and James Welch.") University of Washington
Press: 1990. 1158 pages. ISBN
- Lopach, James. We the People of
Montana: The Workings of a Popular Government. Falcon Press,
1983 ISBN 0-87842-159-9
- MacLean, Norman, A River Runs
Through It. University
of Chicago Press: 1976. ISBN 0-226-50060-8.
- MacLean, Norman, Young Men
and Fire. University of Chicago Press: 1992. ISBN
- Malone, Michael P., Richard B.
Roeder and William L. Lang. Montana: A History of Two
Centuries. University of Washington: 1991. ISBN
- Toole, K. Ross. Montana: An Uncommon Land.
University of Oklahoma
Press: 1984. ISBN 0-8061-1890-3.
- Walter, Dave, et al.
Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Montana History. Falcon
Press, 2000. ISBN 1-58592-032-0
- Walker, Mildred. Winter
Wheat. Harcourt: 1967. ISBN 0-15-197223-0.