It’s finally here.
Tourists and Transplants: A History of Montana, Volume 7.
Like the previous volumes, we go 30 years at a time. So this volume is 1990 to 2020.
It was hard writing the last parts, the parts about Covid and the 2020 Election. It’s so fresh in our minds, so raw...and still ongoing.
I know I’ll have to update this book in a few years; I’m looking forward to it.
Until then, it’s out.
It comes out to 520 pages in eBook format, and 460 pages in the paperback version.
I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am, the sense of accomplishment I feel!
I started this website in March of 2013 with the express intent of writing a complete and succinct history of this state.
I had no idea what I was doing. I was still living in China at the time, in a city 6,800 miles away from the state I was writing about.
I completed the first volume of the series while living there. I did it in a month, with the goal of writing one chapter a day and posting it to the website.
Several years later I went back and updated the book. This was after I started writing my Mountain Man series of historical fiction novels. I had to do a lot of research into Montana in the 1700s and early-1800s to write those. I learned a lot, and wanted to share that knowledge. Hence the 2nd edition of the first volume, Tribes and Trappers.
I think we’ll see a 2nd edition of the 1840-1870 book as well, Priests and Prospectors.
Back in 2013 I desperately wanted to write a modern history of the state. It became apparent rather quickly that this was impossible.
I did not know the early history of the state.
So I set myself a task of learning that history, and writing about it at the same time. Hence the 7 volumes.
And who in the hell is going to read that many books about one state?
As it turns out...not many. The first book has sold around 500 copies, the second just 150. Only 14 people bought the last volume, which covers 1960 to 1990.
While it’s true that many people simply do not care about the state’s history, it’s also true that my books are hard to find on Amazon.
A lot of this has to deal with the company’s decision in 2016 to go all-in with Amazon Prime. That meant you had to opt-in your books to the program, or else face the unspoken and unacknowledged censoring. My monthly book royalties went from $2,000 to around $500. Today I’m lucky to make $100 a month from Amazon.
Boom and bust, the story of Montana.
The imminent historian at the University of Montana since K. Ross Toole died is Harry Fritz. In the 90s he did a poll to find out the most popular Montana history books. Montana: High, Wide and Handsome took the prize, hands down.
The book was 70 years old at the time, its author having died in 1951.
The next best book about Montana history was Malone’s book, A History of Two centuries. It ended in 1990.
Well, the 30-year drought is over.
I don’t care about making money from this book. I do apologize that the print version is $15.99...it’s the lowest I can make it due to the printing costs.
My greatest hope - and the reason I started this series to begin with - is that young Montanans will read it, learn of the mistakes we’ve made, realize the successes, and go forward with confidence,
People that want to be leaders of Montana will seek out this knowledge. Well, I hope so. I hope we have young people in this state that want to realize history, that want to learn from past mistakes and successes. I think they’re out there, I hope so….I have to believe.
This week the first book in my 12-volume Mountain Man series will be on sale for $0.99 on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd, Tolino, and more.
The novel’s set in Montana during the winter of 1806.
Here’s a short excerpt:
Captain Meriwether Lewis scrunched up his face and braced himself before lowering down onto the chair. Despite his efforts, a pain shot up from the bullet wound in his backside, causing him to flinch and grimace further. In the corner, Captain William Clark chuckled under his breath, though not quietly enough.
“Oh, shut up!”
“It damn well could have been you that Pierre shot in the ass just as it was me.”
Clark shrugged. “I suppose that’s possible, though I’d never have put myself into such a compromising position to begin with.”
Lewis frowned and was about to offer a rejoinder, a really good one too, when the tent flap opened and John Colter appeared.
“Oh, beg pardon, captains,” he said, then closed it and shouted out, “Captains, Private John Colter here, permission to enter.”
Lewis looked over at Clark, who only shook his head, so he turned back and called out. “Permission granted, Private Colter.”
John Colter entered the tent this time, a large smile on his face.
“Sirs,” he began, rubbing at his beard and stepping from one foot to the other, “there are two trappers heading upriver.”
“Yes,” Clark said from his spot at the desk, “I met them on the Knife myself, the first of the party to do so. It seems they’re heading up to the headwaters of the Missouri, or at least think they are.”
He scoffed and looked over at Lewis, who only offered a slight smile.
“They’ll have a helluva time of it, captain,” Colter said, his face firm and without humor.
“That they will,” Clark agreed, “but I don’t see what concern it is of ours.”
“The thing of it is, sir,” Colter began with a fair amount of hesitation, for he was always a bit reticent of questioning the two captains, especially after the leniency they’d shown him in Pittsburgh when he’d threatened to shoot Sergeant Ordway. Clark seemed to sense this.
Colter nodded. “The thing of it is, sirs…I’d like to guide those men upriver.”
Lewis and Clark both stared at Colter, neither surprised at what they were hearing.
“I feel that I know both the Upper-Missouri route and the Yellowstone route,” Colter said quickly when he felt his previous words had been hanging in the air too long.
“Oh, and how do you figure that, Private?” Lewis asked with a slight smile.
“Because you had George with you on your team of four,” Colter replied evenly. “Since you got back on the 12th, we’ve been discussing the route.”
“Can’t be discussing much,” Lewis laughed when he thought of the small party he’d led to the Marias River a few weeks before, “we damn-well got run out of there!”
“Nonetheless, sir, George is pretty convincing on the route.”
Lewis leaned back on his stool and crossed his arms, staring at Colter for a moment before looking to Clark. He shrugged, as if to say ‘what do you want me to do?’ Clark took in a breath and let it out slowly, then turned his attention back to Colter.
It’s been almost 2 years since I first published Colter’s Run.
Since then the book has sold 673 copies.
Now it’s in print format, the same as the first two volumes of the Mountain Man Series…though it might take a day or two to appear on Amazon.
I haven’t sold as many print versions of the Colter books, and maybe that’s why I took so long to get this third volume into print format.
But this month I had some time and decided to get on it and now it’s done.
I got the proof version in the mail a few days ago and I’ve been reading through it.
I’m always surprised by how good the books are after I pick them up again after a couple years.
In this case, it’s a fun read.
I mean…what do we know of the legendary run that Colter made from the Blackfeet Indians in the summer of 1808?
We certainly don’t get the Indians’ perspective, but in this book I give you that.
We see characters like Stone Bear, Strong Breeze, and the Blackfeet chief, Big Dog.
There’s Soaring Eagle, Small Head, Small Snake, and Little Jaw.
Many of these characters appear in other books in the series. Some make just a single appearance, often dying a gruesome, yet exciting, death.
Like I said, it’s a fun read.
Check it out on Amazon today!
Note: This is an excerpt from my book Soldiers and Statesmen
From 1950 to 1967, employment in America rose 33%.
In the Rocky Mountain States it rose 41%. Montana, however, only saw an increase of 14%.
In that same time period, per capita income in America rose 60% but in Montana it only went up 26%.
In 1950 Montana’s per capita income had been 8% above the national average but by 1968 it was 16% below. In 1950 Montana earned 0.42% of the nation’s income but by 1968 this had fallen 0.30%.
The main reasons for this decline were threefold:
Oftentimes that Social Security or insurance check each month wasn’t just going to a senior, but the family or community member caring for them as well.
This has also resulted in “an increasingly rapid out-migration of educated young people who despair of finding rewarding employment opportunities here.”
Non-agricultural employment jobs in Montana saw incomes go up by 32% from 1950 to 1968. That might sound like a lot, but in Utah they’d gone up by 77% and in Colorado they went up by an astounding 91%.
Between 1950 and 1960 Montana saw a population growth rate of just 14%, which was 4% below the national average. From 1960 to 1968 Montana’s population grew by only 2.5% compared to the national average of 11%.
During those same years, employment rose 15% nationally but just 7.4% in Montana. Prices in Montana also went up, increasing by 25.8% from 1959 to 1969.
The Montana unemployment rate in 1965 was 4.6%, down significantly from the 6.7% average of the recession year of 1961. By 1968 it was down to 3.6%.
During these years Montana saw derivative employment rise as primary employment was lost. Derivative employment consisted of:
“Wholesale and retail trade; the service industries such as barbershops, laundries, hotels and motels, and the like; finance, insurance and real estate; truck, bus and air transportation; construction; and state and local government.”
In Montana in 1970 there were 85,100 people employed in primary industries and 180,600 people employed in derivative industries in the state. Some key industries were farming, with 36,100; manufacturing with 23,900; trade with 48,100; and government with 40,700.
By 1974 there were 86,400 working in primary industries and another 215,300 employed in derivative industries.
Some key differences were that farming had lost 1,000 jobs, manufacturing had gained 400, trade had gained 11,000, and government had gained 4,500.
Service and finance jobs were another big winner, going from 41,800 in 1970 to 53,400 in 1974. Railroads, however, lost 100 jobs. Mining picked up 900 jobs during that time, for 7,500 total mining positions in the state.
Even in the 1970s there were warnings about this trend. Maxine Johnson and Paul Polzin predicted in the Montana Business Quarterly in 1976 that “not only do service and trade industries normally pay low wages, but many of the new jobs were part-time.”
Of the new jobs created during that time, 25% were in Billings and another 25% were split between Missoula and Bozeman. Those areas had just 31% of the state’s population yet they were creating half the state’s jobs.
The recession of the mid-1970s really hit Montana hard in 1975 when 2,900 primary industry jobs were lost. To make up for this, all levels of government hired, creating 6,400 new jobs.
Factoring in the local, state, and federal jobs lost during those recession years, however, and this created a net gain of just 3,500 jobs.
Professor Polzin went on to do a study in 1975 about the migration patterns of Montana workers. His findings revealed that “those in the most productive years between ages 15 and 64” were the most likely to leave the state.
He looked at the years 1965 to 1970 and found that many “who left the state would have preferred to remain, but could not find employment in Montana.
In 1972 Polzin did another study and found that 42% of the state’s college graduates expected to leave.
In 1950 Montana’s per capita income was 8% above the national average, Malone tells us. By 1970, however, it had fallen to 12% below the national average and by 1988 that was 22% below.
“This has meant a deteriorating standard of living for Montanans and a severe threat to their future. Although Montanans indisputably enjoyed a higher standard of living in 1990 than they did in 1920, they have also indisputably failed to share in the new era of national economic evolution. If the state continues to follow its old-fashioned ‘low-tax, low-service’ approach to its political economy, thereby failing to invest in order to build and compete in a global economy, the deterioration will continue to deepen.”
Bigart, Robert. Montana: An Assessment for the Future. University of Montana Publications in History: Missoula, 1978. p 42, 57-60, 64-70, 102.
Malone, Michael Peter; Roeder, Richard B.; Lang, William L. Montana: A History of Two Centuries. The University of Washington Press, 1976. p 346.
It’s 1812 and talk of war with Britain is still in the air.
How many Upper Missouri tribes are still loyal to America, how many went over to the British?
That’s a big concern, as are the falling fur prices.
It used to be that a one-pound beaver pelt would fetch you $4; now it’s down to $2.50.
Times are tough and lots of men are out of work. The uncertainty over the international situation isn’t helping.
Such is the situation we find ourselves in as Manuel’s Money begins.
Yes, I’m pleased to announce that the 10th book of the Mountain Man Series is now on sale.
You can get the book on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo and Barnes & Noble.
It comes in at 75,000 words and 219 pages.
It costs $4.99.
The book is divided into six parts.
Mostly, we follow St. Louis trader Manuel Lisa as he heads up the Missouri River to the Mandan villages 1,100 miles away.
We also follow mountain man and fur trapper Edward Rose as he embarks on a solo journey to the Crow.
I tried to leave out the boring parts, but you’ll still get a lot of history on the fur trade, foreign relations, business practices, and what life was like 204 years ago.
There’s a lot of excitement in the book.
Battles with hostile Indians, breaking out of prison camps, jumping into freezing rivers, disrupting the slave trade…there’s a lot of fun stuff in this book.
The excitement will continue, as the Mountain Man Series still has a long way to go, at least 10 more books.
I’m hard at work on the 11th and will get back to it right now.
So until next time, enjoy my latest fiction offering.
I’m very pleased to announce that my sixth book of Montana history is now on sale.
It’s called Soldiers and Statesmen and it covers the years 1960 to 1990.
You get a lot more than that, however, as when we get into certain areas – health, alcohol, sex, drugs…to name a few – I give you lots of current information.
That’s what you’re looking for – information.
You want to know about the state’s recent history and this book does a good job of it.
It’s not perfect, I’ll tell you that right now.
Nor is the history complete – I’m sure there are tons of things that happened in Montana during these years that I’m missing.
The book does cover all the political developments and economic changes that took place over those three decades, however, and it does so in a fun way.
I feel a big part of this is due to the various people I profile.
You of course get soldiers that fought in wars – mostly Vietnam – as well as the statesmen that fought for legislation – mainly in Washington.
Besides that, though, you get the stories of common people in the state.
These are people like John Quigley and his frontier town for tourists; Bill Montgomery and his decades of service at the Anaconda smelter; Jim Darcy and his tragic end in Vietnam; and Big Dorothy Baker and the brothel she ran in Helena until 1972.
You get more national figures too.
These are people like JFK and his short time in the White House; Donald Rumsfeld and his efforts to poison crops for Monsanto; and George H.W. Bush and his connections to the family of the man that tried to kill Ronald Reagan.
I’m especially proud of the various facts and figures I pulled together from a wide variety of sources.
You’ll get all kinds of information on Montana’s population, her taxes, the mental health situation, tourism numbers, mining totals, forestry figures, and the business and banking consolidations that took place over these years.
I really feel that this information will help future generations, and it’ll help you too.
I love the fact that I can do a simple “ctrl-f” search in any of my six Montana history books and pull up information on almost any subject, detailed information with facts that allow me to get a leg-up in whatever conversation or debate I’m taking part in.
If knowledge truly is power, then gaining that knowledge of Montana’s recent past will surely empower your thoughts and arguments, and it’ll make you a better citizen of the state as well.
You can read the first couple of chapters of the book on Amazon, and I encourage you to do so.
I also encourage you to read the rest by spending $7.99 and getting the book.
You can get the book on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and the paperback version will be up on Amazon in a day or two.
Montana is a big place with lots of stories. Find out a few – buy this book today.
Prickly Pear Canyon is a 15-mile stretch of the state between Helena and Great Falls.
If you want to get more technical it’s between the Sieben Ranch to the south and Wolf Creek to the north.
Of course, none of those places were around in 1866.
That’s the year my latest short Montana western takes place in.
If you've read Sun River Crossing you’ll have met our hero, Kenny, and seen him through one adventure already.
Now he embarks upon another, all over the course of a hot July afternoon in the Montana Territory.
He’s not alone, as friend and cowboy Charlie Pride is with him.
He’ll need the help.
A group of Hampton boys led by a notorious outlaw have it out for Kenny after what he did at Sun River Crossing.
They mean to corner Kenny in the canyon, put an end to the young twerp.
What they don’t know is that the Blackfeet, led by the vicious and supposedly invincible Calf Shirt, are hot on their trail.
It’ll all lead to a showdown in Prickly Pear Canyon.
Get your copy today for $0.99 wherever eBooks are sold.
The 9th book of the Mountain Man Series is now on sale.
It’s called Brock’s Betrayal.
You can get the book on Amazon, iTunes, B&N, Kobo, and a few more places.
It’s $4.99 but will go down to $3.99 when I release the box-set of the 3-volume Astoria leg of the larger Mountain Man Series.
If you’re real lucky you might be able to get it for $0.99 still, as that’s the price I offer my email subscribers and it’s still live on Amazon.
That’ll soon change, however.
So…what’s the book about…and who the hell is Brock?
I first mentioned William and Isaac Brock way back in Colter’s Escape, the 6th book of the series.
They’re Englishmen, working up in Upper Canada and dealing with the Hudson’s Bay Company as well as the North West Company.
They’ve been on the periphery for the past three novels, and in this novel William Brock takes a leading role.
It’ll also be the end of their involvement in our larger story, that of the fur trade on the Upper Missouri, specifically the lands that would become Montana.
We’re still 52 years before the Montana Territory comes into existence, however.
Yep, it’s the beginning of 1812…but if you’ve been reading these books you know that.
It’s all about heading east this time, back toward the Continental Divide and the Missouri River beyond it.
The large, 85-strong group that we started Fortin’s Furs with has been whittled down to a dozen.
Their nerves are frayed and their hopes are dashed. Not for all of them, however, as the group that Manuel Lisa sent upriver with the Astoria Expedition still has a cache of furs to claim.
Others have the same idea, namely the Blackfeet and Nez Perce.
And then there’s those damn British, always turning up when you least expect it.
I don’t want to give away too much, but I think you get the gist of Brock’s Betrayal.
I hope you’ll give it a look on Amazon.
I also hope that if you haven’t picked up a copy of Colter’s Winter yet you’ll go ahead and do so.
That’s the first book of the Mountain Man Series and it’s sold more than 1,000 copies.
Find out why – start the journey up the Missouri, and travel back in time to Montana as she was 200 years ago.
I’d say I’m 90% done with the next book in my Montana history series.
I’m thinking of calling it “Soldiers and Statesmen”…what do you think?
Probably not much.
I have a feeling you don’t really care, to be honest.
Remember, 9 copies of the last book sold and 34 of the one before that.
Maybe people don’t care about Montana history in the 20th-century, or maybe they just don’t care about my telling of it.
So I have extremely low expectations for this new Book 6 and that’s why I’m going to just put it out.
I do that with most of my books – you just get tired of tinkering with ‘em and put ‘me out.
I dunno - maybe if I changed the tone of these books to reflect the tone of this blog they'd do better.
Perhaps a blog is a hotter medium than a book, however. I haven't picked up Marshall McLuhan in awhile so we'll just leave it at that.
Hopefully people will read the book...over time. Hey, maybe 30 years from now it'll be a big hit!
I do have to say that a fire was really lit under my ass when I put up a post discussing the book on July 9.
Prior to that I hadn’t touched the book since April. In the last 9 days, however, I’ve added 15,000 words to the book.
There's a lot more to it than just writing, however. You have to organize, put in images, get things in the right spot...make sense of it all.
Here are some highlights of that.
On Mike Mansfield
Mansfield himself was a workhorse, putting in 15-hour days that started at 6:30 AM. Staff arrived at 8 AM and “Mansfield had already read and sorted the mail.” Montana also developed a strong relationship with Vermont at this time, as Mansfield had breakfast nearly every morning with that the green mountain state’s Senator George Aiken.
JFK told his secretary the night before his trip to Dallas that LBJ would not be on the ticket in ’64. More, the president had been telling other people in the Democratic Party not to worry about LBJ and his bullying ways, for the man was going to prison. On November 23 a syndicated newspaperman Drew Pearson alleged in a column that LBJ was given a $10,000 bribe for a defense contract.
LBJ was a nobody now, had been ever since Kennedy had tapped him as vice president and even more so after Mansfield had stood by and let the congressional caucus make clear that it did not want LBJ meddling in their business. Worse, LBJ’s corruption was about to be made public. LBJ therefore had the motive, means and opportunity to have Kennedy killed.
The 1966 Montana Senate Race
During the race Babcock “chastised Metcalf for his opposition to America’s expanding roll in the conflict” in Vietnam and called him a “tax and spend” Democrat, one of the earliest uses of that term.
Babcock spent $210,000 in the race to Metcalf’s $68,000. Metcalf “traveled the state in a modest campaign car, spending a relatively small sum on the race.” This was all while Babcock “told Montanans that Metcalf had lost touch with Montana.”
In the end Babcock lost badly. Metcalf took 53% of the vote to the governor’s 47%, or 138,166 votes to 121,697.
The 1968 Democratic National Convention
In August 1968 the Democratic National Convention in Chicago saw several thousand protesters clash with 12,000 police and another 15,000 state and federal officers. Over 500 people were arrested and hundreds of people were injured.
Following the convention Gallup did a poll and found out that 56% of Americans approved of how police had handled the protesters at the convention, with just 31% disapproving. The protesters were vocal and they were active, but the silent majority in the country continued to support those in power.
When the convention ballots were counted, Humphrey won with an overwhelming 1,759 votes to McCarthy’s 601 and McGovern’s 146. Vice President Humphrey would be the nominee, and he’d be facing a former vice president, Richard Nixon.
Montana Farm & Livestock Numbers to 1995
It was estimated that Montana had 3.1 million cattle in January 1976. That sounds like a lot but Texas had 15.6 million cattle. Despite this, Montana was still #14 in the country for cattle and #8 for beef cattle.
The average value of a beef cow in Montana in 1976 was $205. That was low compared to other states, where cattle were more densely packed onto the land. In Vermont, for instance, a cow was worth $345. Dairy had fallen off, however, and Montana was #44 in the nation for milk production in 1976.
There were 635,000 sheep in Montana in 1976 and they had an average worth of $40, which was above the national average of $37.
Beaverhead County had the most cattle in 1995, with 148,000 head. Second was Big Horn County with 128,000 head.
The number of animals, and their value, has fluctuated over the years. In 1960 there were 2.2 million animals with a value of $141 a head. By 1995 that’d shot up to 2.7 million animals with a value of $675 a head.
The real change came in the 1970s. The price per head was $195 but by 1980 it was $510.
Around 30,000 Montanans made their living in the agricultural industry in 1995. Compared to the homesteading days of the 1900s and 1910s, however, the industry’s workers have dropped considerably. In just 70 years about 200,000 fewer people call themselves Montana farmers, ranchers, or just a hired hand in one of the many agricultural pursuits going on around the state.
Rising Medical Costs in America
By the 1990s healthcare costs were double the rate of inflation. In 1990 it was figured that healthcare expenditures were making up 12.2% of the nation’s GDP. That came out to $666.2 billion that year and the average household was spending $2,566 a year on healthcare. A whopping $256 billion was spent on hospital care alone that year. For hospitals, this was great. Their average annual revenue growth had been 14% from 1966 to 1983, and a main reason for that were the exorbitant rates they charged patients.
In 1990 alone there was $10.4 billion in new hospital construction.
Congress tries time and time again to do something but fails miserably. Hospital care funding from the government was 42.5% in 1960 and by 1990 it was 54.7%. To put it another way, $147 was spent per person in 1960 and by 2013 $9,255 was being spent per person. That’s an average annual increase of 8%.
In 1960 businesses, households and private sponsors covered 77% of healthcare costs, with government taking up the other 23%. By 2013 businesses, households and private sponsors were covering 57% of healthcare costs and government was making up the other 43%.
To cover the rising costs of care, patients continually turn to insurance, which has become ever more expensive. Because of this, Americans have managed to keep out-of-pocket hospital costs down. In 1960 they were 21% and by 1980 they got to 5% and have stayed there ever since.
By 1990 Americans were spending $126 billion a year on physician services and another $34 billion on dental services. Almost 98% of dental costs were paid by insurance or out-of-pocket.
In 1990 over the counter drugs accounted for $22 billion in sales and prescription drugs were worth $32 billion. Spending for things like hearing aids, crutches, wheelchairs, and artificial limbs totaled $6 billion. Eyeglasses and contact lenses cost another $5 billion. Nursing home costs were $53 billion in 1990.
By the year 2000 16% of the country had no health insurance at all.
Montana Tourism in the 1970s
Just 12% of all the land in America was reserved for recreational purposes in the 1970s. A whopping 72% of that was out West, an area that only had 15% of the country’s population. So it was that people came to Montana and Montanans catered to them. They provided services more than products, and Montana’s economic slide into the dominant services industry began around this time.
The big problem was that tourism jobs don’t pay that much. In 1974 a services industry job in Montana would net you $5,332 for the year. Retail trade got you $5,515. If you worked in the kitchen or some other food industry you’d make $8,666 for the year. Those in finance and insurance and real estate were looking at $7,689 for the year.
It was only when you got into the more skilled trades that you breached the $10,000 income levels. For instance, transportation and utility workers would make $10,012 a year while construction workers could make $10,977. Those in mining and wood products typically made in the $12,000 range.
It was estimated in 1974 that just $0.22 of every dollar a tourist spent remained in the state as direct income for residents.
When you put tourism against forestry, it’s clear that the numbers just can’t be made up. The Montana Business Quarterly estimated that it’d take 4,260 tourists coming to the state to replace the $37,500 in income that five forestry jobs created. Those jobs would be lost each time lumber production fell a million board feet.
To accomplish that task, 15% more tourists would have had to come to Montana in 1974 than had come in 1971, “an unlikely prospect.”
Continue to come they did, however. There were just too many things for them to do, no matter what time of year it was.
Hunting was a big past time in the state, as it is now. In 1974 there were just under 310,000 hunting licenses issued to residents and over 35,000 to nonresidents. More than 114,000 deer and elk were taken that year.
Fishing is another pastime that Montanans enjoy, as well as those from out-of-state. In 1974 nearly 158,000 fishing licenses were sold, or what amounted to 21% of the state’s population of 750,000.
Skiing is an activity that many enjoy and in 1974 Montana had 26 ski areas for residents and nonresidents to choose from. Choose they did, as the two-year period from 1974 to 1976 saw nearly 600,000 people strap on skis at those areas.
Well, there you have it. If you read this far then maybe Book 6 is right for you.
Until then, why not check out some of the other books in the series?
MT Book 7
My final volume of Montana history, covering the years 1990 to 2020, is now on sale!
This blog began in March 2013 and discusses Montana politics.
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25 Famous People from Montana You Might Not Know
10 Great Mountain Man Fur Trapping Books
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The Rothschilds, Freemasons, and Illuminati
Famous Montana Celebrities #5
A History of Montana's Chinese
Highest Paid Workers at the University of Montana
The Missing of Glacier National Park