The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – June 2021: Montana

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The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – June 2021: Montana

1bhabeck
Jun 1, 2021, 8:28am

Each month, we will visit a different state in the United States of America for the Monthly Reading Challenge in the Mystery & Suspense Extra! Group. This month, we head back out west – to MONTANA.

The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – June 2021: Montana


History

Montana is a state in the Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. Montana has no official nickname but several unofficial ones, most notably "Big Sky Country", "The Treasure State", "Land of the Shining Mountains", and "The Last Best Place". The economy is primarily based on agriculture, including ranching and cereal grain farming. Other significant economic resources include oil, gas, coal, mining, and lumber. The health care, service, and government sectors also are significant to the state's economy. Montana's fastest-growing sector is tourism; nearly 13 million annual tourists visit Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Beartooth Highway, Flathead Lake, Big Sky Resort, and other attractions.

The name Montana comes from the Spanish word montaña, which in turn comes from the Latin word montanea, meaning "mountain" or more broadly "mountainous country". Montaña del Norte was the name given by early Spanish explorers to the entire mountainous region of the west.

Various indigenous peoples lived in the territory of the present-day state of Montana for thousands of years. Historic tribes encountered by Europeans and settlers from the United States included the Crow in the south-central area, the Cheyenne in the very southeast, the Blackfeet, Assiniboine, and Gros Ventres in the central and north-central area, and the Kootenai and Salish in the west.

The land in Montana east of the continental divide was part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Subsequent to and particularly in the decades following the Lewis and Clark Expedition, European, Canadian and American traders operated a fur trade, typically working with indigenous peoples, in both eastern and western portions of what would become Montana. Though the increased interaction between fur traders and indigenous peoples frequently proved to be a profitable partnership, conflicts broke out when indigenous interests where threatened, such as the conflict between American trappers and the Blackfeet. Indigenous peoples in the region were also decimated by diseases introduced by fur traders.

In July 1889, Montanans convened their third constitutional convention and produced a constitution accepted by the people and the federal government. On November 8, 1889, President Benjamin Harrison proclaimed Montana the union's 41st state.

The Homestead Act of 1862 provided free land to settlers who could claim and "prove-up" 160 acres (0.65 km2) of federal land in the Midwest and western United States. Montana did not see a large influx of immigrants from this act because 160 acres were usually insufficient to support a family in the arid territory. The Desert Land Act of 1877 was passed to allow settlement of arid lands in the west and allotted 640 acres (2.6 km2) to settlers for a fee of $.25 per acre and a promise to irrigate the land. After three years, a fee of one dollar per acre would be paid and the settler would own the land.

By 1910, homesteaders filed claims on over five million acres, and by 1923, over 93 million acres were farmed. In 1910, the Great Falls land office alone had more than a thousand homestead filings per month, and at the peak of 1917–1918 it had 14,000 new homesteads each year. Significant drops occurred following the drought in 1919.

In 1917–18, due to a miscalculation of Montana's population, about 40,000 Montanans, 10% of the state's population, volunteered or were drafted into the armed forces. This represented a manpower contribution to the war that was 25% higher than any other state on a per capita basis. Around 1500 Montanans died as a result of the war and 2437 were wounded, also higher than any other state on a per capita basis. Montana's Remount station in Miles City provided 10,000 cavalry horses for the war, more than any other Army post in the country. The war created a boom for Montana mining, lumber, and farming interests, as demand for war materials and food increased.

An economic depression began in Montana after World War I and lasted through the Great Depression until the beginning of World War II. By the time the U.S. entered World War II on December 8, 1941, many Montanans had enlisted in the military to escape the poor national economy of the previous decade. Another 40,000-plus Montanans entered the armed forces in the first year following the declaration of war, and more than 57,000 joined up before the war ended. These numbers constituted about ten percent of the state's population, and Montana again contributed one of the highest numbers of soldiers per capita of any state. Many Native Americans were among those who served, including soldiers from the Crow Nation who became Code Talkers. At least 1,500 Montanans died in the war. Montana also was the training ground for the First Special Service Force or "Devil's Brigade", a joint U.S-Canadian commando-style force that trained at Fort William Henry Harrison for experience in mountainous and winter conditions before deployment.

In the post-World War II Cold War era, Montana became host to U.S. Air Force Military Air Transport Service (1947) for airlift training in C-54 Skymasters and eventually, in 1953 Strategic Air Command air and missile forces were based at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls. The base also hosted the 29th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Air Defense Command from 1953 to 1968. In December 1959, Malmstrom AFB was selected as the home of the new Minuteman I intercontinental ballistic missile. The first operational missiles were in place and ready in early 1962. In late 1962, missiles assigned to the 341st Strategic Missile Wing played a major role in the Cuban Missile Crisis. When the Soviets removed their missiles from Cuba, President John F. Kennedy said the Soviets backed down because they knew he had an "ace in the hole", referring directly to the Minuteman missiles in Montana. Montana eventually became home to the largest ICBM field in the U.S. covering 23,500 square miles (61,000 km2).

Geography


Montana is one of the eight Mountain States, located in the north of the region known as the Western United States. It borders North Dakota and South Dakota to the east. Wyoming is to the south, Idaho is to the west and southwest, and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, are to the north, making it the only state to border three Canadian provinces.

With an area of 147,040 square miles (380,800 km2), Montana is slightly larger than Japan. It is the fourth-largest state in the United States after Alaska, Texas, and California; it is the largest landlocked state.

The state's topography is roughly defined by the Continental Divide, which splits much of the state into distinct eastern and western regions. Most of Montana's hundred or more named mountain ranges are in the state's western half, most of which is geologically and geographically part of the northern Rocky Mountains. About 60 percent of the state is prairie, part of the northern Great Plains.

The Beartooth Plateau is the largest continuous land mass over 10,000 feet (3,000 m) high in the continental United States. It contains the state's highest point, Granite Peak, 12,799 feet (3,901 m) high.

Montana has thousands of named rivers and creeks, 450 miles (720 km) of which are known for "blue-ribbon" trout fishing. Montana's water resources provide for recreation, hydropower, crop and forage irrigation, mining, and water for human consumption. Montana has some 3,000 named lakes and reservoirs.

Vegetation of the state includes lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, larch, spruce, aspen, birch, red cedar, hemlock, ash, alder, rocky mountain maple and cottonwood trees. Forests cover about 25% of the state.

Montana contains Glacier National Park, "The Crown of the Continent"; and parts of Yellowstone National Park, including three of the park's five entrances. Other federally recognized sites include the Little Bighorn National Monument, Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, and Big Hole National Battlefield. The Bison Range is managed by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and the American Prairie Reserve is owned and operated by a non-profit organization.

Federal and state agencies administer approximately 31,300,000 acres (127,000 km2), or 35 percent of Montana's land.

Fun Facts

In the 1880s, Helena (the state capital) had more millionaires per capita than any other United States city.

During World War II, the planned battleship USS Montana was named in honor of the state but it was never completed. Montana is the only one of the first 48 states lacking a completed battleship being named for it. Alaska and Hawaii have both had nuclear submarines named after them. Montana is the only state in the union without a modern naval ship named in its honor. However, in August 2007, Senator Jon Tester asked that a submarine be christened USS Montana. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced on September 3, 2015, that Virginia Class attack submarine SSN-794 will become the second commissioned warship to bear the name.

Cattle ranching has been central to Montana's history and economy. The Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site in Deer Lodge is maintained today as a link to the ranching style of the late 19th century. Operated by the National Park Service, it is a 1,900-acre (7.7 km2) working ranch.

The largest reservoir in the state is Fort Peck Reservoir on the Missouri river, which is contained by the second largest earthen dam and largest hydraulically filled dam in the world.

Quake Lake was created by a landslide during the 1959 Hebgen Lake earthquake.

In 1942, the US Army established Camp Rimini near Helena for the purpose of training sled dogs in winter weather.

The most visited place in Montana is Glacier National Park, known as the crown jewel of the continent. It lies along Montana’s northern border and adjoins Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada, forming the world’s first International Peace Park. Yellowstone National Park in southern Montana and northern Wyoming was the first national park in the nation. A portion of Yellowstone National Park, the first national park in the country, is in Montana. The park has 1000-3000 earthquakes each year and is home to one of the Earth’s few super volcanos. Glacier National Park has 250 lakes within its boundaries.


The largest snowflake ever observed was 38 cm wide was recorded in Montana on January 28, 1887. That’s just darn near 15 inches. Amazing!

The Battle of the Little Bighorn also known as Custer’s Last Stand took place on June 25, 1876. Lieutenant Colonel Custer’s forces—including more than 200 of his men were wiped out in less than 20 minutes.


46 out of Montana’s 56 counties are considered “frontier counties” with an average population of 6 or fewer people per square mile.

The average square mile of land contains 1.4 elk, 1.4 pronghorn antelope, and 3.3 deer. In Montana, the elk, deer and antelope populations outnumber the humans. No state has as many different species of mammals as Montana.

Montana is one of few geographic areas in the world whose rivers form parts of three major watersheds (i.e. where two continental divides intersect). Its rivers feed the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and Hudson Bay. The watersheds divide at Triple Divide Peak in Glacier National Park. If Hudson Bay is considered part of the Arctic Ocean, Triple Divide Peak is the only place on Earth with drainage to three different oceans.

Montana is the first state in the United States to elect a woman to Congress. Montana native, Jeanette Rankin was elected to Congress in 1916 and re-elected in 1940. Jeanette Rankin was against the World Wars and also opposed the U.S. attack on Pearl Harbour. Her’s was the only vote against the war and she faced furious opposition for her views.


Approximately 10,000 white pelicans migrate from the Gulf of Mexico to Medicine Lake, Montana every spring. These birds are striking because they have wingspans of about nine feet.

The Hell Creek Formation in Northeast Montana is a major source of dinosaur fossils. Paleontologist Jack Horner of the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman brought this formation to the world's attention with several major finds. The Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman is home to over 13 species of T-Rex, more than anywhere else in the world.


Montana has the largest grizzly bear population in the lower 48 states. Montana hosts five federally endangered species–black-footed ferret, whooping crane, least tern, pallid sturgeon, and white sturgeon and seven threatened species including the grizzly bear, Canadian lynx, and bull trout.


Want to REALLY get away from it all? Montana has the deepest known cave in the United States. The Tears of the Turtle Cave is located in the Bob Marshall Wilderness and is 1629 feet deep and 1.167 miles long.


Notable Residents

Robert Craig Knievel; (October 17, 1938 – November 30, 2007), professionally known as Evel Knievel, was an American stunt performer and entertainer. Over the course of his career, he attempted more than 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps. Knievel was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999. He died of pulmonary disease in Clearwater, Florida, in 2007, aged 69.

Successful animator and producer Brad Bird, who worked on well-known projects like “Rugrats,” “The Simpsons,” and Disney’s “The Incredibles” was born in Kalispell.

Authors from Montana include: Dorothy Baker (Novelist), Christopher Paolini (fantasy), and Wallace Stegner (historian, novelist). Actors from Montana include: Gary Cooper, Martha Raye, and Michelle Williams as well as director David Lynch.

Scot Schmidt, the first professional extreme skier, was born in Helena.

Famous western artist Charles M “Charlie” Russell called Montana home.

In honor of MONTANA, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

• A Mystery/Suspense book with "Big," "River," "Wild," "Bear," or "North" in the title OR has a picture of a bear, bird or a horizon on the cover or a cover that is more than 50% Sky (medium) Blue;

• A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in Montana OR is set in a remote location OR involves a cowboy/rancher/miner; and

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's FIRST and LAST initial (no middle initials or names) can be found in MONTANA.


Happy Reading ❤

2bhabeck
Edited: Jun 20, 2021, 12:52pm

Brenda's Americana Challenge - June 2021: Montana
3 of 3 Complete


In honor of MONTANA, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

• A Mystery/Suspense book with "Big," "River," "Wild," "Bear," or "North" in the title OR has a picture of a bear, bird or a horizon on the cover or a cover that is more than 50% Sky (medium) Blue;
Murder at the Beacon Bakeshop by Darci Hannah; horizon; 6/12/21; 3 stars

• A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in Montana OR is set in a remote location OR involves a cowboy/rancher/miner; and
Montana by Gwen Florio; set in Montana; 6/20/21; 3.5 stars

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's FIRST and LAST initial (no middle initials or names) can be found in MONTANA.
Guilt and Galaxy Cake by Nancy McGovern; 6/16/21; 3 stars

3Carol420
Edited: Jun 9, 2021, 3:22pm


📌 - ★
3/3 - DONE 6/9

Carol's Going Dinosaur Hunting in Montana (He followed me home...Can I keep him???)

📌1. A Mystery/Suspense book with "Big," "River," "Wild," "Bear," or "North" in the title OR has a picture of a bear, bird or a horizon on the cover or a cover that is more than 50% Sky (medium) Blue. Stone Cross - Marc Cameron - 2.5★



📌 2. A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in Montana OR is set in a remote location OR involves a cowboy/rancher/miner; and
Bitterroot Lake - Alice Beckman - 4.5★

📌3. A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's FIRST and LAST initial (no middle initials or names) can be found in MONTANA.
Skin and Bone - TA More- 5★ (T & M)

4Sergeirocks
Edited: Jun 29, 2021, 4:52pm

Saving my place...

The Big Four - Agatha Christie 4★s ("Big" in title)
Ghost Canyon - John Russell Fearn & Matthew Japp 3.5★s (Involves a cowboy)
The 13th Tablet - Alex Mitchell 3.5★s (Author's initials in 'MONTANA')

5Olivermagnus
Edited: Jun 29, 2021, 9:03pm



Lynda and Oliver Go Barbecuing in Montana

3
of 3 Complete

In honor of MONTANA, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

🐄 A Mystery/Suspense book with "Big," "River," "Wild," "Bear," or "North" in the title OR has a picture of a bear, bird or a horizon on the cover or a cover that is more than 50% Sky (medium) Blue.
Force of Nature - C. J. Box - 4.5 Stars - 6/6/21 -the bird is small but it's there.


🐄 A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in Montana OR is set in a remote location OR involves a cowboy/rancher/miner;
Killer Jam - Karen McInerney - 3.5 Stars - Lucy moves to a farm in Buttercup, Texas, where she’s looking forward to a simple life as a homesteader.

🐄 A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's FIRST and LAST initial (no middle initials or names) can be found in MONTANA.
Black Coral - Andrew Mayne - 4.5 Stars - 6/15/21 - AM

6Carol420
Jun 2, 2021, 4:18pm

>5 Olivermagnus: HA! Bet you're not doing that in Arizona:)

7gaylebutz
Jun 3, 2021, 5:24pm

I'm going to read The Lost Man by Jane Harper. It involves a rancher.

8gaylebutz
Jun 3, 2021, 5:25pm

>3 Carol420: Carol how do you pick your books so fast? Just curious. Maybe I can learn something from your method!

9Carol420
Jun 4, 2021, 9:35am

>8 gaylebutz: I choose books that I want to read about 2 months in advance and just add to or substract from the list as needed. Sometimes they aren't always available but most of the time having a month to get them from the library...I'm pretty lucky. I can usually find something that fits the category, especially since I generally have three choices in each topic. Sometimes I'm left searching...but not often. I cheat sometimes too (my bad!). When I'm creating the challenges, I try to make the topics fit the books I already have if possible. I also sometimes switch out books mid way.

10gaylebutz
Jun 4, 2021, 2:56pm

>9 Carol420: I also keep a list of books I want to read but they mostly don’t fit the challenges. I don’t really mind searching anyway. I find some new authors sometimes. But thanks for explaining.

11Carol420
Jun 9, 2021, 3:23pm

All done. Thanks Brenda. Gotta go feed my dinosaur.

12bhabeck
Jun 9, 2021, 5:21pm

>11 Carol420: Nice job! Congrats!

13gaylebutz
Jun 19, 2021, 5:50pm

Done - The Lost Man by Jane Harper 4.5 ★
It involves a rancher.

14Carol420
Jun 20, 2021, 8:35am

>13 gaylebutz:



Good job, Gayle!!!

15bhabeck
Jun 20, 2021, 12:52pm

16bhabeck
Jun 20, 2021, 12:55pm

>13 gaylebutz: well done!

Glad to see you liked the book — I did too. I’ve enjoyed her first 2 as well the dry and force of nature

17Carol420
Edited: Jun 20, 2021, 5:56pm

>15 bhabeck:



Good work, Congratulations!

18Olivermagnus
Jun 23, 2021, 3:50pm

>13 gaylebutz: I loved this one. Great twist.

19gaylebutz
Jun 23, 2021, 9:57pm

>18 Olivermagnus: >16 bhabeck: The Lost Man is my favorite of her 3 books. The twist was very surprising to me and fit the story well.

20bhabeck
Jun 24, 2021, 1:57am

>19 gaylebutz: jane harper has another book that was released last year - the survivors. I’ll be interested to see what you think of that one

21gaylebutz
Jun 24, 2021, 10:16pm

>20 bhabeck:. Yes! I’ve put that on my TBR list and am looking forward to it.

22Olivermagnus
Jun 29, 2021, 9:03pm

All Done!

23Carol420
Edited: Jun 29, 2021, 9:14pm

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