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Montana (/mɒnˈtænə/ (About this soundlisten)) 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 all, 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.

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Custer Massacre at Big Horn, Montana - artist unknown

The Battle of the Little Bighorn — also known as Custer's Last Stand and Custer Massacre and, in the parlance of the relevant Native Americans, the Battle of the Greasy Grass — was an armed engagement between a Lakota-Northern Cheyenne combined force and the 7th Cavalry of the United States Army. It occurred June 25–June 26, 1876, near the Little Bighorn River in the eastern Montana Territory.

The battle was the most famous action of the Indian Wars and was a remarkable victory for the Lakota and Northern Cheyenne. A U.S. cavalry detachment commanded by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer was annihilated. It was, however, not the greatest Indian military victory over U.S. forces; that was the Battle of the Wabash in 1791, when Little Turtle and an alliance of Ohio tribesmen killed and wounded nearly a thousand U.S. soldiers.

Thousands of Indians had slipped away from their reservations through early 1876. Military officials planned a three-pronged expedition to corral them and force them back to the reservations, using both infantry and cavalry, as well as a small detachment of Gatling guns. Brig. Gen. George Crook's column moved north from Fort Fetterman in the Wyoming Territory toward the Powder River area. Col. John Gibbon's column of 6 companies of the 7th Infantry and four of the 2nd Cavalry marched east from Fort Ellis in western Montana Territory. The third column under Brig. Gen. Alfred Terry (including George Custer's 7th Cavalry; Companies B, D and I, 6th U.S. Infantry; Companies C & G, 17th U.S. Infantry; and the Gatling gun detachment of the 20th Infantry) departed westward from Fort Abraham Lincoln in the Dakota Territory. They were accompanied by teamsters and packers with 150 wagons and a large contingent of pack mules.

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Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (March 13, 1911 – January 24, 1986), better known as L. Ron Hubbard, was the creator of Dianetics, and founder of the Church of Scientology. He was also an American author in numerous pulp fiction genres as well as a prolific writer of non-fiction works.

Hubbard was a highly controversial public figure during his lifetime. Many details of his life remain disputed, with official and unofficial biographies depicting Hubbard in radically different ways. Official Scientology biographies present him in hagiographic terms as "larger than life, attracted to people, liked by people, dynamic, charismatic and immensely capable in two dozen fields". In contrast, unofficial biographies (some of which are by former Scientologists) paint a much less flattering picture which often contradicts official Church accounts. One of Hubbard's unofficial biographers, Russell Miller, describes him as "one of the most successful and colourful confidence tricksters of the twentieth century" and comments that "every biography of Hubbard published by the church is interwoven with lies, half-truths and ludicrous embellishments."

L. Ron Hubbard was born in 1911 in Tilden, Nebraska to Ledora May Hubbard (née Waterbury) and Harry Ross Hubbard. His father was born Henry August Wilson in Fayette, Iowa, but was orphaned as an infant and adopted by the Hubbards, a farming family from Fredericksburg, Iowa. Harry joined the United States Navy in 1904, leaving the service in 1908, then re-enlisted in 1917 when the United States declared war on Germany. He served in the Navy until 1946, reaching the rank of Lieutenant-Commander in 1934. Ledora was a feminist who had trained to become a high school teacher and married Harry in 1909.

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Grant Marsh
  • ... that Montana riverboat pilot Grant Marsh has been described as "Possibly the greatest steamboat man ever"?

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