Montana // is a state in the Pacific Northwest and Great Plains regions of the United States of America. The central and western thirds of the state have numerous mountain ranges (approximately 77 named) of the northern Rocky Mountains; thus the state's name, derived from the Spanish word montaña ("mountain"). The state nickname is the "Treasure State." Other nicknames include "Land of Shining Mountains," "Big Sky Country," and the slogan "the last best place." However nearly 60% of Montana is mostly flat and rolling prairies, part of the North American Great Plains. The state ranks fourth in area, but only 44th in population, and therefore has the third lowest population density in the United States. The economy is primarily based on agriculture and significant lumber and mineral extraction. Tourism is also important to the economy, with millions of visitors a year to Glacier National Park, the Battle of Little Bighorn site, and three of the five entrances to Yellowstone National Park.
With a land area of 145,552 mi² (376,978 km²) the state of Montana is the fourth largest in the United States (after Alaska, Texas, and California). To the north, Montana and Canada share a 545-mile (877 km) border. The state borders the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, more provinces than any other state. To the east, the state borders North Dakota and part of South Dakota. To the south is Wyoming and to the west and southwest is Idaho.
Glacier National Park is located in the U.S. state of Montana, bordering the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. Glacier National Park contains two mountain ranges, over 130 named lakes, more than 1,000 different species of plants and hundreds of species of animals. This vast pristine ecosystem, spread across 1,584 mi² (4,101 km²), is the centerpiece of what has been referred to as the "Crown of the Continent Ecosystem", a region of protected land encompassing 16,000 mi² (44,000 km²). The famed Going-to-the-Sun Road, a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, traverses through the heart of the park and crosses the Continental Divide, allowing visitors breathtaking views of the rugged Lewis and Livingston mountain ranges, as well as dense forests, alpine tundra, waterfalls and two large lakes. Along with the Going-to-the-Sun Road, five historic hotels and chalets are listed as National Historic Landmarks, and a total of 350 locations are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Glacier National Park borders Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada—the two parks are known as the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, and were designated as the world's first International Peace Park in 1932. Both parks were designated by the United Nations as Biosphere Reserves in 1976, and in 1995 as World Heritage sites.
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George Armstrong Custer (December 5, 1839 – June 25, 1876) was a United States Army cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the Indian Wars. Promoted at an early age to a temporary war-time rank of brigadier general, and later made a permanent Lt. Colonel, he was a flamboyant and aggressive commander during numerous Civil War battles, known for his personal bravery in leading charges against opposing cavalry. He led the Michigan Brigade whom he called the "Wolverines" during the Civil War. He was defeated and killed at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, against a coalition of Native American tribes comprised almost exclusively of Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapahoe warriors, and led by the Sioux chiefs Crazy Horse and Gall and by the Hunkpapa seer and medicine man, Sitting Bull. This confrontation has come to be popularly known and enshrined in American history as Custer's Last Stand.
Custer was born in New Rumley, Ohio, to Emanuel Henry Custer (1806-1892), a farmer and blacksmith, and Marie Ward Kirkpatrick (1807-1882). Through his life Custer was known by a variety of nicknames. Among Whites he was called alternately Autie (his early attempt to pronounce his middle name), Armstrong, Fanny, or Curley. When he went west the Plains Indians whom he encountered called him Yellow Hair and Son of the Morning Star. His brothers Thomas Custer and Boston Custer died with him at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, as did his brother-in-law and nephew. His other two full siblings were Nevin and Margaret Custer, and he had several other half siblings. Custer's father's family originally came from Westphalia in West Germany. They emigrated and arrived in America in the 17th century. The original family surname was "Küster". He was a fifth-generation descendant of the German, Arnold Küster from Kaldenkirchen, Duchy of Jülich (today North Rhine-Westphalia state), who later immigrated to Hanover, Pennsylvania.
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- ... that Montana riverboat pilot Grant Marsh has been described as "Possibly the greatest steamboat man ever"?
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