Introduction - MontanaFrom antelope to pelicans to golden eagles, grizzly bears and moose, the state of Montana is a wildlife mecca located in the western region of the United States. Montana borders the states of North Dakota, Idaho, South Dakota and Wyoming in addition to sharing a border with Canada to the north. What makes this state so unique is that since the majority of counties in Montana average about six people per square mile each, the antelope, deer and elk actually outnumber the human population in Montana. Find out more interesting facts and information about Montana including who the first inhabitants of Montana were, when Montana became a state and where you can find one of the most scenic drives in America. The facts below are listed in a kid-friendly format so finding information is easy!
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Montana Quick Facts
- Montana was the 41st state to join the United States of America.
- Montana became a state on November 8, 1889.
- The capital of Montana is Helena.
- Montana is the 4th largest state in the U.S., but only the 44th most populous state.
- The name given to residents of Montana is Montanans.
- The official state flower of Montana is the bitterroot.
- Montana has the nickname of The Treasure State.
- Montana is the state song of Montana.
- Within Montana are three major rivers they are the Yellowstone River, the Clark Fork River and the Missouri River.
- The two major lakes in Montana are Fort Peck Lake and Flathead Lake.
Montana Interesting Facts
- Up until 1972, the coldest temperature recorded in the contiguous United States was -70 degrees Fahrenheit. That temperature was recorded in Montana on January 20, 1954.
- At 201 feet (61 meters), the Roe River in Great Falls, Montana is one of the shortest rivers in the world.
- At an elevation of 12,807 feet (3,904 meters) above sea level, Granite Peak is the highest point in Montana.
- With the possible exception of Alaska, Montana is home to more Grizzly Bears than any other U.S. state.
- Montana is the only U.S. state where a rare natural hydraulic event allows water to flow from a summit into three Drainages. In Glacier National Park at Glacier's Triple Divide Peak, water flows into the Hudson Bay, the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Canada and Siberia are the only other places that a triple divide of this kind can be found.
- Flathead Lake, located in northwestern Montana, has over 200 square miles of water making it the largest natural freshwater lake in the western portion of the United States.
Montana Historical Facts
- The Plains Indians were the first people to settle in Montana.
- From June 25 - 26th in 1876, the historic Battle of Little Bighorn, also referred to as Custer's Last Stand, took place near the Little Bighorn River in Montana. It was a severe defeat for the U. S. military. The commanding officer, Colonel George Armstrong Custer, and most of his men were killed in the battle.
- In 1908, western Montana became home to The National Bison Range. The purpose of the this wildlife sanctuary was to help preserve wild bison from extinction. Approximately 500 Bison live there along with deer, bear, antelope and several other animal species.
- Saint Mary's Mission which was established by Roman Catholic Missionaries in Bitterroot Valley, Montana, is thought to be the first permanent settlement in the state.
- Yellowstone National Park, which lies between Montana and Wyoming, became both the United States and the world's first national park in 1872.