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Montana was the last state to raise its legal drinking age to 21, doing so in 1987 after a federal law was passed that required all states to have a minimum drinking age of 21 or risk losing federal highway funding.
Yellowstone County is located in the state of Montana and has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. Native American tribes such as the Crow and Shoshone-Bannock inhabited the region long before European settlers arrived. The Lewis and Clark Expedition passed through the area in 1806, noting the breathtaking landscapes and abundant wildlife. In the mid-1800s, fur trappers and traders began exploring the region more extensively.

The discovery of gold in Montana in the 1860s brought a wave of settlers to the area, including Yellowstone County. The county was officially established in 1883 and was named after the nearby Yellowstone River, which runs through the region. Throughout this period, the Native American populations were pushed out of their ancestral lands and onto reservations.

Yellowstone County experienced significant growth during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The arrival of the Northern Pacific Railway in 1882 spurred economic development and the establishment of several towns, including Billings, which would become the county seat. Agriculture and ranching became prominent industries in the region, taking advantage of the fertile land and natural resources.

In the 20th century, Yellowstone County continued to grow, with industries diversifying and expanding. The discovery of oil in the 1920s led to the establishment of oil refineries and boosted the local economy. The county also played a significant role in World War II, with the construction of the Billings Army Air Base. Today, Yellowstone County is a thriving area, known for its natural beauty, outdoor recreation opportunities, and a mix of urban and rural communities.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Yellowstone County, Montana.

  • 1800s: Yellowstone County was inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Crow and Sioux.
  • 1806: Captain William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition explored the area, documenting its natural wonders.
  • 1862: John Bozeman blazed a trail through the county, which later developed into the Bozeman Trail used by settlers heading to Montana's gold fields.
  • 1864: Yellowstone County was officially established as part of Montana Territory.
  • 1872: Yellowstone National Park, which includes parts of Yellowstone County, became the world's first national park.
  • 1882: The Northern Pacific Railway reached the county, boosting economic growth and settlement.
  • 1883: Billings, the largest city in Montana and the county seat of Yellowstone County, was founded.
  • 20th century: The county experienced significant growth in agriculture, oil, and transportation industries.
  • 1978: The Yellowstone County Museum opened, preserving the region's history and culture.
  • Today, Yellowstone County continues to be an economic hub and a gateway to Yellowstone National Park.