• 11,000 B.C. Earliest evidence of humans in Montana.
  • A.D. 1620s Arrival of the Plains Indians.
  • 1803 The eastern part of Montana becomes a territory through the Louisiana Purchase.
  • 1805-06 Explorers Lewis and Clark journey through the northern Rockies to and from the Pacific coast.
  • 1864 Montana becomes an official territory. Gold is discovered at Last Chance Gulch in Helena.
  • 1876 Defeat of George A. Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
  • 1877 Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce tribe surrenders to U.S. soldiers in the Bear Paw Mountains.
  • 1880 The Utah and Northern Railroad enters Montana.
  • 1883 The Northern Pacific Railroad crosses Montana.
  • 1889 Montana, on November 8, becomes the 41st state in the Union.
  • 1893 The University of Montana in Missoula and Montana State University in Bozeman are founded.
  • 1910 Glacier National Park is established.
  • 1917-19 Missoula native Jeannette Rankin, a Republican, becomes the first woman elected to U.S. Congress and votes against U.S. participation in World War I.
  • 1940 Fort Peck Dam is completed.
  • 1965 Construction of Yellowtail Dam is completed.
  • 1973 Montana's third state constitution goes into effect.
  • 1983 Anaconda Copper Mining Company shuts down.
  • 1986 Montana spends $56 million on environmental protection programs.
  • 1995 Wolves are reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park. Daytime speed limits are abolished (but later reestablished).
  • 1996 Recluse Theodore Kaczynski, dubbed the Unabomber, is arrested at his cabin near Lincoln and is later sentenced to life in prison for sending a series of mail bombs that killed three people.
  • 1998 The $6-million Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center opens in Great Falls.
  • 2000-01 A series of forest fires -- mostly wildfires but some caused by careless humans -- drive thousands of people from their homes and do millions of dollars in damage.
  • 2003 Wildfires burn 140,000 acres in Glacier National Park.
  • 2005 The grizzly bear is removed from the endangered-species list.
  • 2006 A powerful November rainstorm washes out a chunk of Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park.
  • 2007-08 Over 1500 Yellowstone bison are killed as they cross into Montana due to brucellosis fears.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.