1.A State of Mountains
Montana got its name from Spanish term for mountain. Spanish explorers gave the state this name after encountering its numerous mountain ranges. Montana became United States’ 41st state in November, 1889. It covers an area of 147,042 square miles and is United States’ 4th largest state by land mass. Montana is located in the midst of the longest border between the United States and Canada.
2.Montana’s Colonization History
Montana was never colonized in its early history. Spanish, French and American explorers such as Clark and Lewis created inroads to the state but these non-native Americans were not able to put their roots there until mid-19th century. The U.S took control over Montana through Louisiana Purchase in 1803. However, the state was ignored until after the American civil war.
3.Montana’s Population Density
Montana has a population of about one million people. Its large land mass makes it’s the third state with the lowest population density within the United States. Billings, Montana’s largest city stretches over 500 miles and has a population of about 500,000 people. Montana’s capital, Helena has a population of about 75,000 people.
4.Montana’s Population Growth was Inspired by Minerals
Miners and settlers flocked Montana when travel to the state became easier. Their main purpose was to plunder the mineral wealth within the state’s territory. The population of the state grew with the discovery of precious ores and valuable minerals in its mountains. Farmers also moved to the state to explore farming prospects but the climate turned out to be harsh and dry.
5.S. Military Neutralized Natives in Montana
The invasion of miners and settlers in Montana to plunder its minerals stirred trouble with Native Americans in the State. In 1876, the U.S. military started a campaign to neutralize or remove Native Americans from the state. In the popular battle of “Custer’s Last Stand”, Cheyenne and Sioux Indians destroyed George Armstrong Custer and over 200 men within 20 minutes. This caused a stronger response from the government. As a result, most Native Americans in the region were confined forcibly in reservations where they live to date.
6.Famous for Dinosaur Fossils and Rugged Beauty
Montana is popular for dinosaur fossils and its natural rugged beauty. It is home to nature preserves that include the internationally re-known Yellowstone Park, lakes and mountains. It features several fossil hunting areas and it has produced some of United States’ most crucial paleontological discoveries.
7.Home to the First National Park in the U.S
The first national park in the U.S. is found in Montana. The Yellowstone National Park lies on the southern part of Montana and stretches to the northern part of the Wyoming state. Montana is also the state with the largest variety of mammals in the U.S. It is home to approximately one hundred mammal species that include elk, grizzly bears, antelopes, black hears, mountain goats and bighorn sheep.
8.Montana holds the Temperature Change Record
There is no other place in the world that has ever experienced a drastic change in temperature within 24 hours like Montana. In January 1972, Montana’s Loma area experienced a 103 degrees temperature change within 24 hours as temperatures shifted from -45°F on 14th January to 49° on 15th January.
9.Millionaire per Capita Record
Helena, Montana’s capital held the record of the most millionaires per capita in 1888 compared to any other city across the globe.
10.The Headwaters State
Most of the water that flows through the United States has its source on Montana Mountains. For this reason, Montana is considered the Headwaters State. The Continental divide literally divides the waters of North America as it runs through the Rocky Mountain crests to Mexico from Canada.