Montana 125: 1889-2014

 

On Montana's birthday cake, we'll light a candle for all those who have shaped the state since 1889. Of those 125 candles, one candle is for the Native Americans and one for the cowboys. Another for the miners and the explorers. The cavalry soldiers and the airmen have made their mark, too. The suffragettes and unionists get their own candles, with one more for the entrepreneursLegislators and lawmen surely deserve their own flame, and so do the bawdy girls, church ladies, homemakers and trailblazersImmigrants, homesteaders and teachers will shine bright, too. So do the authors who have kept Montana stories alive. We'll even save a spot for the likes of Jack Slade and other villains whose stories are woven into our history. And we'll light one for you, reader. Thanks to you and to all who make Montana what she is today. And before we light those candles, we'll share a few stories from this great state's history.

Get ready to celebrate like it's 1889.

Photos put a new spin on history

Photos put a new spin on history

We all have in our minds an image of what Montana history looked like. Here are a few photos to change that image and the way you think about Montana history.

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Montana Constitution lets the “sunshine in”

Montana Constitution lets the “sunshine in”

“We the people of Montana grateful to God for the quiet beauty of our state, the grandeur of our mountains, the vastness of our rolling plains, and desiring to improve the quality of life, equality of opportunity and to secure the blessings of liberty for this and future generations do ordain and establish this constitution.”

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Homestead Act had huge economic impact

Homestead Act had huge economic impact

There ought to be a Daughters of Montana Homesteaders group.

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Business good for Upstairs Girls

Not too long ago, prostitution flourished semi-openly under the Big Sky, with the last of the great Montana madams, Ruby Garrett of Butte, in business until 1982.

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Gibson wanted state university in Great Falls
15 Famous Montanans
You gotta read this
Montana in pop culture
McNally was the grandest of them all

McNally was the grandest of them all

Dave McNally of Billings was also the only pitcher to ever hit a grand slam in the World Series.

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Montana's greatest ball players

Montana's greatest ball players

The Treasure State loves basketball. Anyone wanting to start a good debate around here need only declare that the definitive "best player in state history" has been determined.

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I'm in love with Montana.
For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection.
But with Montana it is love.
And it's difficult to analyze love when you're in it.

-John Steinbeck

Feather Your Nest displays vintage attire

When Feather Your Nest moved into the historic Beckman's building on Central Avenue, owner Kandy Zanto brought antiques, clothing, hats, decor and a deep appreciation for the iconic business that preceded her.

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Montana patents
Mint, Stockman top watering hole names
Cowboy capital
Best, worst Montana movies

Courageous stands in Montana history

Courage is born on battlefields, in wild country and sometimes in fights for justice in the halls of power.

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Whitehall kids win poster contest

Whitehall kids win poster contest

Students from Martha Farrand's fifth-grade class in Whitehall pieced together an award-winning poster of Montana's history.

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Celebrate 125 years with a Montana playlist

Celebrate 125 years with a Montana playlist

Many of the best songs of Montana came from a longing for this state. The topography, nightlife, people and big sky color those songs. As you travel the state or celebrate the 125th anniversary of statehood bring along the music of Montana.

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Texts from Montana history

Texts from Montana history

Imagine if characters from Montana's history could have received texts from their friends.

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Trading the Big Sky for Beijing

Now that former Sen. Max Baucus has traded in Big Sky Country for … well … does China even have a nickname? ... there are undoubtedly plenty of things he misses about the Last Best Place.

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Made in Montana

Made in Montana: export performance

Montana produced $2.43 billion in exported goods during 2013: $929 million in bulk wheat and $1.5 billion in all other tangible goods.

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Montana's birthday year memorable in many ways

Montana's birthday year memorable in many ways

Today marks the 125th birthday of our great state. There will be tweets, Facebook posts, cakes with photographs screened atop them, digital photographs and all other kinds of hullabaloo. None of that happened on Nov. 8, 1889, of course.

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The lowdown on Montana's biggest lowlifes

The lowdown on Montana's biggest lowlifes

While Montana has had her share of upstanding citizens — the vast majority forgotten by history — she's seen her share of colorful, often violent, scoundrels, as well.

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Guard, protect and cherish your land, for there is no afterlife for a place that started out as Heaven.

-Charles M. Russell

Montana had many military bases through the years

Montana had many military bases through the years

The construction of Glasgow Air Force Base benefited a local company that received a military contract in 1957 to build several buildings at the base.

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Native Americans on the map of Montana

Native Americans on the map of Montana

In a state with such a proud Native American history, it is surprising how few of Montana's major place names honor native peoples. Over the past 15 years there has been an organized effort to remove derogatory words like "squaw" and "halfbreed" from the map of Montana, and replace them with names that are more respectful.

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