FIRST, a few fun facts about the fabulous state of Montana. With fall in full swing and winter around the corner, here are a couple that will confirm what you non-Montanans think about Montana being as cold and snowy as you imagined. We had a first snow in Helena yesterday, which left just enough to look like a sprinkling of powdered sugar across the landscape. Gil got the big storm over the weekend!

-The largest snowflake ever observed was 38 cm wide was recorded in Montana on January 28, 1887. That’s just darn near 15 inches. Amazing!

-Montana holds the world record for the greatest temperature change in 24 hours. On January 14-15, 1972, the temperature went from from -54°F to 49°F a whopping 103 degrees in Loma!

NOW FOR THE RESULTS OF THE FAIR IS FAIR TOUR'S organizing efforts for domestic partnerships for loving, committed same-sex couples:

Ten days, seven cities, 1300 miles... + 320 people attended the tour events.

+ 196 people signed statements of support for fairness in Montana. This includes those who signed the new People of Faith Support Fairness statement initiated by Billings clergy on the first stop on the tour. (For more information, please contact Ninia Baehr at ninia@aclumontana.org)

+ 75 people signed up to take action, send links to statements, go through speakers training, hold a house party, write a letter to the editor, among other tasks.

+ 111 people asked to be put on the TIP e-mail list


+ 94 clergy have signed the statement of support for fairness for same-sex couples. We started the tour with 78. (For more information, please contact Ninia Baehr at ninia@aclumontana.org.) The goal is 100 and more clergy are signing every day!

READ MORE about the tour in the ACLU of Montana Autumn 2011 Newsletter, with Ninia's front-page article "Fair is Fair Tour Takes Montana"

Click here for Gil's newest addition to his "Letters to Montana," which includes the poem he read at each event, "The Power of One" by Dr. Cheryl Sawyer.


-In Montana, the word "ditch” can be used to order a drink. It means "with water." "I'd like a Jack Daniel's ditch, please" means, "I'd like a Jack Daniel's and water." This is not a joke. In fact, all you really have to ask for is a "Jack ditch." Try it out the next time you find yourself in a Montana saloon.

- Montana is known as the headwaters state because much of the water which flows to the rest of the nation comes from the mountains of Montana.

-No state has as many different species of mammals as Montana.