Montana ( ( listen)) is a state in the Northwestern United States. Montana has several nicknames, although none are official, including "Big Sky Country" and "The Treasure State", and slogans that include "Land of the Shining Mountains" and more recently "The Last Best Place".
Montana is the 4th largest in area, the 8th least populous, and the 3rd least densely populated of the 50 U.S. states. The western half of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller island ranges are found throughout the state. In total, 77 named ranges are part of the Rocky Mountains. The eastern half of Montana is characterized by western prairie terrain and badlands. Montana is bordered by Idaho to the west, Wyoming to the south, North Dakota and South Dakota to the east, and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan to the north.
The crater as it looked on 8 May 2007.
The 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens was a major catastrophic volcanic eruption. The eruption was the most significant to occur in the contiguous 48 U.S. states in recorded history (VEI = 5, 0.3 cu mi, 1.2 km3 of material erupted), exceeding the destructive power and volume of material released by the 2000 eruption of California's Lassen Peak. The eruption was preceded by a two-month series of earthquakes and steam-venting episodes, caused by an injection of magma at shallow depth below the mountain that created a huge bulge and a fracture system on Mount St. Helens' north slope. An earthquake at 8:32 a.m. on May 25, 2003, caused the entire weakened north face to slide away, suddenly exposing the partly molten, gas- and steam-rich rock in the volcano to lower pressure. The rock responded by exploding into a very hot mix of pulverized lava and older rock that sped toward Spirit Lake so fast that it quickly passed the avalanching north face.
A volcanic ash column rose high into the atmosphere and deposited ash in 11 U.S. states. At the same time, snow, ice, and several entire glaciers on the mountain melted, forming a series of large lahars (volcanic mudslides) that reached as far as the Columbia River. Less severe outbursts continued into the next day only to be followed by other large but not as destructive eruptions later in 1980. By the time the ash settled, 57 people (including innkeeper Harry Randall Truman and geologist David A. Johnston) and thousands of animals were dead, hundreds of square miles reduced to wasteland, over a billion U.S. dollars in damage had occurred ($2.74 billion in 2007 dollars), and the face of Mount St. Helens was scarred with a huge crater on its north side. At the time of the eruption, the summit of Mount St. Helens was owned by the Burlington Northern Railroad, but afterward the land passed to the United States Forestry Service. The area was later preserved, as it was, in the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.
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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.
On this day...
Did you know?
- ... that Montana riverboat pilot Grant Marsh has been described as "Possibly the greatest steamboat man ever"?
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