Over at Mental Floss, there’s a new post up with the headline, “25 Picturesque Facts About Montana.”
Most of these facts are pedestrian and not very interesting—there are a lot of mountains here; Brad Pitt starred in a fishing movie set here; Gary Cooper was from Montana; it’s the largest landlocked state, etc.
But whoever put this list together did his or her homework, and brings to the world some genuinely interesting facts about our state. One has to do with “Absaroka,” which was to be the name of a state that some folks in Wyoming proposed to create in 1949.
Absaroka would have included portions of northern Wyoming and chunks of Montana and South Dakota. I’ve been meaning to write a full-fledged story about it for years. One of these days…
Another interesting factoid is that Montana, to its everlasting shame, had a sedition law that became the model for the federal Sedition Law of 1918. This history became much better known thanks to a really fine project undertaken by the UM School of Journalism, resulting in posthumous pardons for some of the accused, many years after the fact.
Those, as I say, were interesting facts, of which I was previously aware. Indeed, I was aware of 24 of the 25 “picturesque facts.” There was one I hadn’t heard: that Montana cats have a longer average lifespan than the cats of any other state, and that our dogs have the second-longest lifespans.
One of my dogs, Josie, is 16, as far as we know, so she’s doing her part to push that dog lifespan into the No. 1 position. I should probably mention that Josie is also a writer.