#1673 – 1976 13c State Flags: Montana

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U.S. #1673
1976 13¢ Montana
State Flags Issue
 
 
Issue Date: February 23, 1976
City: Washington, DC
Quantity: 8,720,100 panes of 50
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: 11
Color: Multicolored
 

Montana Becomes 41st State

U.S. #2401 features a painting by famed cowboy artist C.M. Russell.

On November 8, 1889, Montana was admitted to the Union.

The many Indian tribes living in Montana before the arrival of Europeans could be separated into two groups, those who lived on the Plains and those who lived in the mountains. Plains Indian tribes included the Arapaho, Assiniboine, Atsina, Blackfeet, Cheyenne, and Crow. Mountain-dwelling tribes included the Bannock, Flathead, Kalispel, Kutenai, and Shoshone tribes. The Sioux, Mandan, and Nez Perce hunted in the Montana region, but usually lived elsewhere.

French trappers were probably the first whites to reach Montana, perhaps as early as the 1740s. The Lewis and Clark Expedition explored Montana on their way to the Pacific Coast in 1805 and when returning in 1806. By 1807, fur traders had come to the Montana area. Jesuit missionaries established St. Mary’s Mission in 1841. Located near today’s Stevensville, it was the first attempt to create a permanent settlement in the region. The American Fur Company built Fort Benton on the Missouri River in 1847. This is Montana’s oldest continuously populated town.

U.S. #1673 – The Montana flag pays tribute to the state’s mineral and agricultural wealth.

The U.S. acquired most of Montana with the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. A treaty gained the northwestern portion of the state with Great Britain in 1846. Montana was administered as part of the territories of Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Dakota, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

Gold was discovered in Grasshopper Creek in southwestern Montana in 1862. Further discoveries led to a gold rush. Wild, often lawless, mining towns grew rapidly. To protect their towns, some citizens formed vigilante groups. These problems made people realize Montana needed its own effective government. On May 26, 1864, Montana became a territory.

Richard Grant brought the first cattle herd to Montana from Idaho in the mid-1850s. In 1866, Nelson Story drove a thousand longhorn cattle from Texas to Montana. With the arrival of the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1883, the eastern markets were opened to cattle ranchers. The industry grew quickly. Unfortunately, fierce weather destroyed thousands of Montana cattle during the winter of 1866 and ’67. Ranchers continued after this setback, but on a smaller scale.

U.S. #3586 pictures a rodeo cowboy and the Rocky Mountains in Glacier National Park.

Two of the most famous Indian battles in the west took place in Montana. Perhaps the most legendary was “Custer’s Last Stand.” On June 25, 1876, a combined force of Sioux and Cheyenne Indians killed many members of the 7th Cavalry Regiment under Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer. This battle took place near the Little Big Horn River.

“Big Hole” was the last major Indian battle in Montana. This conflict started when U.S. troops attempted to force Nez Percé Indians onto a reservation in Oregon. The tribe’s leader, Chief Joseph, led his people on a daring escape toward Canada. After a series of minor battles, U.S. troops fought the Indians for two days at Big Hole in southwestern Montana. Chief Joseph managed to get his people to within 40 miles of the Canadian border before they were captured.

Montana was very attractive to settlers. Between 1880 and 1890, the population grew from about 39,000 to nearly 143,000. The territory’s citizenry asked for statehood in 1884. Five years later, on November 8, 1889, Montana achieved statehood.

U.S. #4304 pictures the state flag and a mountain lion in the snow.

The population explosion of the 1880s and ’90s was fueled by the discovery of Montana’s rich mineral resources. Gold, then silver, and copper attracted miners from other parts of the U.S. and Europe. Butte Hill was so laden with deposits of silver and copper that it became known as the Richest Hill on Earth.

As the state entered the 1900s, new efforts were made to harness its vast natural resources. Rivers were dammed, which provided irrigation for farm crops and hydroelectric power for industry. Railroads were expanded. Processing plants for sugar, flour, and meat were built. In 1910, Congress created Glacier National Park. This park soon began generating income for the state through tourism.

Montana elected the first woman to serve in the United States Congress. Jeannette Rankin was elected in 1916. Rankin later became famous as the only member of Congress to vote against entering World War II after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

U.S. #1978 pictures the state bird and flower – the Western Meadowlark and Bitterroot.

Although the state’s economy suffered during the Great Depression, state and federal programs continued to improve its infrastructure. One of the major projects started at this time was the huge Fort Peck Dam. The dam was completed in 1940. Other projects included insect control, irrigation, rural electrification, and soil conservation.

During World War II, the demand for Montana’s metals and farm products created an economic boom. When the war ended, low farm prices created a migration to the cities as people searched for new work. In some cases, entire farm towns were abandoned.

During the 1950s, Montana’s oil industry expanded rapidly. Many productive wells were drilled in previously untapped areas. The Anaconda Aluminum Company built a $65 million plant in northwestern Montana in 1955. During the 1960s, this company spent another $50 million on improvements to its mining operations.

By the mid-1900s, tourism had become an important source of state income. Parks and historic sites were developed by the state. Private entrepreneurs created dude ranches, resorts, and skiing centers.

U.S. #748 pictures Mount Rockwell and Two Medicine Lake in Glacier National Park.

Many new irrigation and water projects were initiated in recent years. The Yellowtail Dam on the Bighorn River was completed in 1966. The Libby Dam hydroelectric project on Kootenai River began operating in 1975, and was completed in 1984. In 1972, the state’s voters approved a new constitution that went into effect in 1973. The energy shortages of the 1970s provided a boost to Montana’s gas, oil, and coal industries. In the 1980s, fuel prices fell, and production was reduced. Farm prices fell during the 1980s as well.

Today, Montana remains rich in natural resources. However, the state government has sought to broaden the base of its economy. Small businesses and electronics manufacturers have helped achieve this goal. In 1985, the state formed the Science and Technology Alliance to look for new ways to use its raw materials.

 
 
Issued as part of the ongoing Bicentennial celebration, the 13¢ State Flags pane was a first in U.S. history. This was the first time a pane with 50 face-different stamps was issued. Each state is represented by its official flag, with the stamps arranged on the sheet in the same order each state was admitted into the Union.
 
Montana State Flag
The trains pulled out from Dillon, Montana, in 1898, the first step of a voyage carrying the First Montana Regiment to battle. The United States and Spain were at war, and the First Montana was headed to the Philippines, a journey of 7,000 miles. The regiment’s commander, Colonel Harry Kessler, felt the troops needed something special to distinguish them from other units. He privately commissioned a flag for the unit that showed the state seal, with “1st Montana Inft’y U.S.V.” above the seal. 
 
The First Montana finally arrived in Manila ­– 10 days after the city surrendered. During their tour they served in the Philippine Insurrection that directly followed the war. Upon their return to Montana in 1899, Kessler’s flag captured the attention of the public. Six years later, the Montana state legislature adopted that flag as the official state flag, with the regiment’s name removed.
 
The seal features a pick, shovel, and plow against a background of forests, fields, and mountains. The Great Falls and Missouri River are also shown. The scene represents Montana’s mineral and agricultural wealth, which is reinforced by a banner that says Oro y Plata, or “Gold and Silver.” In 1981, the state legislature added “Montana” above the seal.
 
The Bicentennial Series
The U.S. Bicentennial was a series of celebrations during the mid-1970s that commemorated the historic events leading to America’s independence from Great Britain. The official events began on April 1, 1975, when the American Freedom Train departed Delaware to begin a 21-month, 25,338-mile tour of the 48 contiguous states. For more than a year, a wave of patriotism swept the nation as elaborate firework displays lit up skies across the U.S., an international fleet of tall-mast sailing ships gathered in New York City and Boston, and Queen Elizabeth made a state visit. The celebration culminated on July 4, 1976, with the 200th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. 
 
The U.S.P.S. issued 113 commemorative stamps over a six-year period in honor of the U.S. bicentennial, beginning with the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission Emblem stamp (U.S. #1432). As a group, the Bicentennial Series chronicles one of our nation’s most important chapters, and remembers the events and patriots who made the U.S. a world model for liberty.
 
 
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U.S. #1673
1976 13¢ Montana
State Flags Issue
 
 
Issue Date: February 23, 1976
City: Washington, DC
Quantity: 8,720,100 panes of 50
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: 11
Color: Multicolored
 

Montana Becomes 41st State

U.S. #2401 features a painting by famed cowboy artist C.M. Russell.

On November 8, 1889, Montana was admitted to the Union.

The many Indian tribes living in Montana before the arrival of Europeans could be separated into two groups, those who lived on the Plains and those who lived in the mountains. Plains Indian tribes included the Arapaho, Assiniboine, Atsina, Blackfeet, Cheyenne, and Crow. Mountain-dwelling tribes included the Bannock, Flathead, Kalispel, Kutenai, and Shoshone tribes. The Sioux, Mandan, and Nez Perce hunted in the Montana region, but usually lived elsewhere.

French trappers were probably the first whites to reach Montana, perhaps as early as the 1740s. The Lewis and Clark Expedition explored Montana on their way to the Pacific Coast in 1805 and when returning in 1806. By 1807, fur traders had come to the Montana area. Jesuit missionaries established St. Mary’s Mission in 1841. Located near today’s Stevensville, it was the first attempt to create a permanent settlement in the region. The American Fur Company built Fort Benton on the Missouri River in 1847. This is Montana’s oldest continuously populated town.

U.S. #1673 – The Montana flag pays tribute to the state’s mineral and agricultural wealth.

The U.S. acquired most of Montana with the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. A treaty gained the northwestern portion of the state with Great Britain in 1846. Montana was administered as part of the territories of Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Dakota, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

Gold was discovered in Grasshopper Creek in southwestern Montana in 1862. Further discoveries led to a gold rush. Wild, often lawless, mining towns grew rapidly. To protect their towns, some citizens formed vigilante groups. These problems made people realize Montana needed its own effective government. On May 26, 1864, Montana became a territory.

Richard Grant brought the first cattle herd to Montana from Idaho in the mid-1850s. In 1866, Nelson Story drove a thousand longhorn cattle from Texas to Montana. With the arrival of the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1883, the eastern markets were opened to cattle ranchers. The industry grew quickly. Unfortunately, fierce weather destroyed thousands of Montana cattle during the winter of 1866 and ’67. Ranchers continued after this setback, but on a smaller scale.

U.S. #3586 pictures a rodeo cowboy and the Rocky Mountains in Glacier National Park.

Two of the most famous Indian battles in the west took place in Montana. Perhaps the most legendary was “Custer’s Last Stand.” On June 25, 1876, a combined force of Sioux and Cheyenne Indians killed many members of the 7th Cavalry Regiment under Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer. This battle took place near the Little Big Horn River.

“Big Hole” was the last major Indian battle in Montana. This conflict started when U.S. troops attempted to force Nez Percé Indians onto a reservation in Oregon. The tribe’s leader, Chief Joseph, led his people on a daring escape toward Canada. After a series of minor battles, U.S. troops fought the Indians for two days at Big Hole in southwestern Montana. Chief Joseph managed to get his people to within 40 miles of the Canadian border before they were captured.

Montana was very attractive to settlers. Between 1880 and 1890, the population grew from about 39,000 to nearly 143,000. The territory’s citizenry asked for statehood in 1884. Five years later, on November 8, 1889, Montana achieved statehood.

U.S. #4304 pictures the state flag and a mountain lion in the snow.

The population explosion of the 1880s and ’90s was fueled by the discovery of Montana’s rich mineral resources. Gold, then silver, and copper attracted miners from other parts of the U.S. and Europe. Butte Hill was so laden with deposits of silver and copper that it became known as the Richest Hill on Earth.

As the state entered the 1900s, new efforts were made to harness its vast natural resources. Rivers were dammed, which provided irrigation for farm crops and hydroelectric power for industry. Railroads were expanded. Processing plants for sugar, flour, and meat were built. In 1910, Congress created Glacier National Park. This park soon began generating income for the state through tourism.

Montana elected the first woman to serve in the United States Congress. Jeannette Rankin was elected in 1916. Rankin later became famous as the only member of Congress to vote against entering World War II after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

U.S. #1978 pictures the state bird and flower – the Western Meadowlark and Bitterroot.

Although the state’s economy suffered during the Great Depression, state and federal programs continued to improve its infrastructure. One of the major projects started at this time was the huge Fort Peck Dam. The dam was completed in 1940. Other projects included insect control, irrigation, rural electrification, and soil conservation.

During World War II, the demand for Montana’s metals and farm products created an economic boom. When the war ended, low farm prices created a migration to the cities as people searched for new work. In some cases, entire farm towns were abandoned.

During the 1950s, Montana’s oil industry expanded rapidly. Many productive wells were drilled in previously untapped areas. The Anaconda Aluminum Company built a $65 million plant in northwestern Montana in 1955. During the 1960s, this company spent another $50 million on improvements to its mining operations.

By the mid-1900s, tourism had become an important source of state income. Parks and historic sites were developed by the state. Private entrepreneurs created dude ranches, resorts, and skiing centers.

U.S. #748 pictures Mount Rockwell and Two Medicine Lake in Glacier National Park.

Many new irrigation and water projects were initiated in recent years. The Yellowtail Dam on the Bighorn River was completed in 1966. The Libby Dam hydroelectric project on Kootenai River began operating in 1975, and was completed in 1984. In 1972, the state’s voters approved a new constitution that went into effect in 1973. The energy shortages of the 1970s provided a boost to Montana’s gas, oil, and coal industries. In the 1980s, fuel prices fell, and production was reduced. Farm prices fell during the 1980s as well.

Today, Montana remains rich in natural resources. However, the state government has sought to broaden the base of its economy. Small businesses and electronics manufacturers have helped achieve this goal. In 1985, the state formed the Science and Technology Alliance to look for new ways to use its raw materials.

 

 
Issued as part of the ongoing Bicentennial celebration, the 13¢ State Flags pane was a first in U.S. history. This was the first time a pane with 50 face-different stamps was issued. Each state is represented by its official flag, with the stamps arranged on the sheet in the same order each state was admitted into the Union.
 
Montana State Flag
The trains pulled out from Dillon, Montana, in 1898, the first step of a voyage carrying the First Montana Regiment to battle. The United States and Spain were at war, and the First Montana was headed to the Philippines, a journey of 7,000 miles. The regiment’s commander, Colonel Harry Kessler, felt the troops needed something special to distinguish them from other units. He privately commissioned a flag for the unit that showed the state seal, with “1st Montana Inft’y U.S.V.” above the seal. 
 
The First Montana finally arrived in Manila ­– 10 days after the city surrendered. During their tour they served in the Philippine Insurrection that directly followed the war. Upon their return to Montana in 1899, Kessler’s flag captured the attention of the public. Six years later, the Montana state legislature adopted that flag as the official state flag, with the regiment’s name removed.
 
The seal features a pick, shovel, and plow against a background of forests, fields, and mountains. The Great Falls and Missouri River are also shown. The scene represents Montana’s mineral and agricultural wealth, which is reinforced by a banner that says Oro y Plata, or “Gold and Silver.” In 1981, the state legislature added “Montana” above the seal.
 
The Bicentennial Series
The U.S. Bicentennial was a series of celebrations during the mid-1970s that commemorated the historic events leading to America’s independence from Great Britain. The official events began on April 1, 1975, when the American Freedom Train departed Delaware to begin a 21-month, 25,338-mile tour of the 48 contiguous states. For more than a year, a wave of patriotism swept the nation as elaborate firework displays lit up skies across the U.S., an international fleet of tall-mast sailing ships gathered in New York City and Boston, and Queen Elizabeth made a state visit. The celebration culminated on July 4, 1976, with the 200th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. 
 
The U.S.P.S. issued 113 commemorative stamps over a six-year period in honor of the U.S. bicentennial, beginning with the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission Emblem stamp (U.S. #1432). As a group, the Bicentennial Series chronicles one of our nation’s most important chapters, and remembers the events and patriots who made the U.S. a world model for liberty.