Montana Quick Facts|
Montana State Capitol
Montana State Seal
Ponderosa Pine - The State Tree of Montana
Western Meadowlark - The State Bird of Montana
Bitteroot - The State Flower of Montana
Montana's Flag - Under the word "Montana", on a blue field, is the state seal. The seal shows some of Montana's beautiful scenery and tells what people were doing in pioneer times. The pick, shovel and plow represent mining and farming. In the background a sun rises over mountains, forests and the Great Falls of the Missouri river. A ribbon contains the state motto "Gold and Silver".
History of Montana - First explored for France by François and Louis-Joseph Verendrye in the early 1740s, much of the region was acquired by the U.S. from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Before western Montana was obtained from Great Britain in the Oregon Treaty of 1846, American trading posts and forts had been established in the territory. The major Indian Wars (1867–1877) included the famous 1876 Battle of the Little Big Horn, better known as “Custer's Last Stand,” in which Cheyennes and Sioux defeated George A. Custer and more than 200 of his men in southeastern Montana. Much of Montana's early history was concerned with mining with copper, lead, zinc, silver, coal, and oil as principal products. Butte is the center of the area that once supplied half of the U.S. copper. Fields of grain cover much of Montana's plains. It ranks high among the states in wheat and barley, with rye, oats, flaxseed, sugar beets, and potatoes as other important crops. Sheep and cattle raising make significant contributions to the economy. Tourist attractions include hunting, fishing, skiing, and dude ranching. Glacier National Park, on the Continental Divide, is a scenic and vacation wonderland with 60 glaciers, 200 lakes, and many streams with good trout fishing. Other major points of interest include the Custer Battlefield National Monument, Virginia City, Yellowstone National Park, Museum of the Plains Indians at Browning, and the Fort Union Trading Post and Grant-Kohr's Ranch National Historic Sites.
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