Sunday 4 March 2012

The America Project - Montana

Montana (MT) size 147,165 sq.m population 1 million

Bordering states Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota (4)
State capital Helena
Most populous city Billings
Other notable places Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Missoula, Kalispell
Notable landmarks and natural features Glacier National Park, Little Bighorn Battlefield Monument, Yellowstone National Park, Beartooth Mountains; Bighorn River
Statehood 8th November 1889 (41st)

Eight famous Montanans
Jeff Ament (musician; born Havre, 1963 -)
Judy Blunt (author and academic; born Malta, 1954 -)
Gary Cooper (actor; born Helena, 1901-1961)
Barbara Ehrenreich (writer; born Butte, 1941 -)
Chet Huntley (journalist and newscaster; born Cardwell, 1911-1974)
David Lynch (writer and director; born Missoula, 1946 -)
Peter Voulkos (artist and ceramicist; born Bozeman 1924-2002)
Lones Wigger (Olympic champion rifle shooter; born Great Falls, 1937-)

Two important events

1. Custer's Last Stand (June 25th 1876)
The most famous of a series of battles which made up the Great Sioux War of 1876 was the battle of the Little Bighorn, which gave everyone a Big Horn and was a particularly chastening blow for one of America's greatest military Generals, George Armstrong Custer. Attacking a huge combined force of Native Americans, the 257-man US 7th Cavalry division was routed within 3 hours, outnumbered for much of the battle by three men to one. General Custer controlled one of three companies charged with attacking the Native Americans at the Bighorn River. His fate has gone down in history and legend because of the completeness of his defeat: every man under his charge that day was killed, leaving no definitive witnesses to his actions or his death. A number of Native fighters laid claim to have fired the fatal shot to Custer's chest. After his death, Custer became a controversial and divisive national hero: to some he was a martyr to the American way of life, to others a reckless leader who sacrificed his troops to a questionable cause.

2. Standing Rock (December 15th 1890)
Chief Sitting Bull was a great holy man of the Ghost Dance movement and leader to the Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux Indians and a leading figure in the Sioux War of 1876. After that conflict, the majority of Montana's Native Americans were rounded up into controlled reservations. Sitting Bull's continued influence over his tribes was a continual concern for the government forces, so when it was suspected he was about to lead a mass escape in December 1890, a warrant was issued for his arrest. At 5.30 a.m. on December 15th, police officers came to collect him, but a skurmish broke out, during which a police officer, Lt. Bullhead was shot by a Sioux. In reply, Bullhead shot Sitting Bull in the chest and another police officer called Red Tomahawk shot Sitting Bull in the head. In the ensuing fight, 6 police officers and 7 Sioux Indians were killed.

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