Montana has made national news on several occasions.  Here are five stories that I thought were pretty important in history that when someone who's not from here thinks of Montana they will think of these stories.

 

 

  • 1

    Battle of the Little Bighorn

    Custer's last stand

    Montana made headlines even before becoming a state, when on June 25, the 7th Calvary Regiment clashed with the Lakota Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes near the Little Big Horn River.  Known in history as the Battle of the Little Bighorn and conmanly refereed to as Custer's Last Stand, the two day battle was a major loss for the US Army, 268 men were killed including Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer.

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  • 2

    Kari Swenson Abduction

    Kari Swenson was eight years old when her family moved from Philadelphia to Bozeman, Montana.

    On July 15, 1984, Swenson, then 22 was abducted near Big Sky, Montana, during a training run and was held captive for over 18 hours, most of it spent chained to a tree.

    Swenson had been abducted by father-and-son pair Don and Dan Nichols who had designs to make Swenson the son's bride and start a family in the mountains.

    A friend of Swenson's Alan Goldstein, accidentally stumbled onto the Nichols camp and was killed by Don Nichols.

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  • 3

    Church Universal and Triumphant

    In the 1980s, a group calling themselves Church Universal and Triumphant (CUT as we all called them) setup their headquarters in Gardiner, MT. calling it the Royal Teton Ranch. 

    CUT leader Elizabeth Clare Prophet, claimed to have foreseen a nuclear war that was to begin at the end of the decade.

    Church members were urged to build fallout shelters and  some members were found to be illegally purchasing firearms under false identities.

    When the anticipated nuclear war failed to occur, many church members left the group.

    Though forced to downsize, the ranch continues to operate out of Paradise Valley today

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  • 4

    Barry Beach

    Barry Beach was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for the 1979 murder of Kimberly Nees in Poplar, Montana.

    During the years following his conviction, his case has drawn national attention

    Beach has gained support from influential state and national advocates who say his murder confession was coercedIn 2015, his sentence was commuted to time served, plus ten years on probation.

    His case is partly responsible for the development and passage on January 23, 2015 of Montana House Bill 43, which grants the Governor of Montana the right to approve clemency for convicts without approval from the Montana Board of Pardons and Parole.

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  • 5

    The Unabomber

    Theodore John Kaczynski, aka the Unabomber was captured on April 3,1996 in a remote cabin in Lincoln, MT. where he lived for nearly 25 years.

    Between 1978 and 1995, a serial bomber mailed and delivered rigged explosive packages to various people across the country.

    Several bombings targeted university employees.  After a bomb failed to explode aboard an American Airlines flight and one injured that injured the president of United Airlines the FBI used the code name UNABOM, short for University and Airline Bomber, to refer to the case.

    This led to the name Unabomber becoming the name used to refer to the suspected serial bomber.

    Following a fatal bombing in Sacramento, Cal. the New York Times received a letter from the bomber promising to stop the bombings if the paper published the suspect's manifesto.

    This led members of his family to identify Theodore John Kaczynski, a former mathematics professor, as the Unabomber.

    who had been living in a tiny cabin near Lincoln, Mont. for nearly 25 years. Kaczynski was arrested at the cabin on April 3, 1996.

     

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