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5 Fun Facts About May 23 In Montana History

---Learn Every Day: MT Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history mt To: 618-270-4005---

1. In 1909, the state of Montana dedicated a monument to the memory of the Lewis and Clark Expedition at Three Forks. The monument was erected on the spot where Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and their party camped on July 27, 1805. It is now a National Historic Landmark.

2. On May 23, 1910, a massive forest fire known as the "Big Blowup" began in Montana and spread to Idaho and Washington. The fire burned over 3 million acres and killed 86 people, making it one of the deadliest and most destructive forest fires in American history.

3. In 1934, Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed and killed by law enforcement officers near Sailes, Louisiana. Montana played a small but notable role in the story, as Bonnie and Clyde stayed at a motel in Billings while on the run from the law.

4. On May 23, 1957, the first of a series of devastating floods hit Montana, causing widespread damage and leading to the development of the state's modern floodplain management policies. The floods caused millions of dollars in damage and led to the creation of the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.

5. In 1996, Montana became the first state to legalize medical marijuana through a voter initiative. The move paved the way for the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state, which was approved by voters in November 2020. Montana is one of the few states to have legalized both medical and recreational marijuana through the ballot box.
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