January 12, 2016

2207 UNITED STATES (Montana) - Montana map and flag

Bordered by Canada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Idaho, Montana is the fourth largest state in the United States, but is ranked only 44th in population and 48th in population density. Its western third contains numerous mountain ranges, and smaller island ranges are found throughout the state. In total, 77 named ranges are part of the Rocky Mountains. However, about 60% of the state is prairie, part of the northern Great Plains. The Hell Creek Formation in Northeast Montana is a major source of dinosaur fossils.
Montana contains thousands of named rivers and creeks, and also at least 3,223 named lakes and reservoirs, including Flathead Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake in the western United States. In the state are Glacier National Park, "The Crown of the Continent"; and portions of Yellowstone National Park, including three of the park's five entrances. Forests cover approximately 25 percent of the state, which is home to a diverse array of fauna.

Various indigenous peoples lived in the territory of the present-day Montana for thousands of years. The tribes encountered by Europeans included Crow, Cheyenne, Blackfeet, Assiniboine, Gros Ventres, Kootenai, Salish, Pend d'Oreille and Kalispel. The land in Montana east of the continental divide was part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Subsequent American, British and French traders operated a fur trade. Until the Oregon Treaty (1846), land west of the continental divide was disputed between the British and U.S. and was known as the Oregon Country.

The first permanent settlement by Euro-Americans in what today is Montana was St. Mary's (1841) near present-day Stevensville. A series of major mining discoveries in the western third of the state found gold, silver, copper, lead, coal (and later oil) that attracted tens of thousands of miners. The largest mining operations were in Butte, which had important silver deposits and gigantic copper deposits.

Prior to the creation of Montana Territory (1864-1889), various areas were parts of Oregon Territory, Washington Territory, Idaho Territory, and Dakota Territory. The first capital was Bannack, but it was moved to Virginia City in 1865 and to Helena (were still is), in 1875. Major battles between Native Americans and U.S. Army occurred in Montana during  Red Cloud's War, the Great Sioux War of 1876, the Nez Perce War and in conflicts with Piegan Blackfeet.

In 1889 Montana become the 41st state in the union. During WWI, due to a miscalculation of state's population, approximately 40,000 Montanans (10% of the population), either volunteered or were drafted into the armed forces, which was 25% higher than any other state. On the other hand, the war created a boom for Montana mining, lumber and farming interests. The 1918 Influenza epidemic claimed the lives of over 5,000 Montanans, far more than the war.

An economic depression began in Montana after WWI and lasted through the Great Depression until the beginning of WWII. During the war, Montana again contributed one of the highest numbers of soldiers per capita of any state. In nowadays, the state's economy is primarily based on agriculture, including ranching and cereal grain farming. Other significant economic activities include oil, gas, coal and hard rock mining, lumber, and the fastest-growing sector, tourism.

The flag of the state, adopted in 1905, consists of the image of the state seal centered on a blue field. Within the seal, a plow, shovel, and pick rest in a field in front of the Great Falls of the Missouri River. The ribbon contains the state motto, "Oro y plata" (Spanish for: "Gold and silver"). NAVA declared this flag to be the third worst state/provincial flag, 70th in a field of 72 in a list that contained all the provinces of Canada, U.S. states and U.S. territories. The state bird is Western meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta), and the state flower is Bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva).

About the stamps
The first stamp, dedicated to Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962), is part of the series Legends of Hollywood, about which I wrote here. The second is part of the definitives series American Design, about which I wrote here. The last stamp, issued on May 29, 2014, to celebrate Nevada’s 150th anniversary, is part of the series Statehood, about which I wrote here.

Montana - Wikipedia

Sender: Denise
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 26.01.2015

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