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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Lewistown Field Office
 
Release Date: 09/04/12
Contacts: Zane Fulbright, 406-538-1900    
  or    
  Mel Lloyd, 406-896-5260    
     

BLM Sponsors Popular Homestead Exhibit During Chokecherry Festival


LEWISTOWN, Mont. – Come see the temporary exhibit commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Homestead Act of 1862 hosted by the Bureau of Land Management on Saturday, September 8, at Chokecherry Lane during Chokecherry Festival.  During 2012, join the citizens of the United States in commemorating the 150th Anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln signing this Act by visiting this engaging traveling exhibit.

Locations for this exhibit, called “FREE LAND was the Cry!,” were carefully chosen based on the area’s connection to homesteading.  Thirty states homesteaded, including Montana, and the exhibit will be on display across Montana through September and October.  It will be returning to Lewistown October 9-13 when it will be displayed upstairs in the Lewistown Library, and then October 22-26 in the Fergus County Courthouse.

This exhibit, featuring panels highlighting the impact of the Homestead Act on America, was put together by Homestead National Monument of America, a National Park Service site located in Southeast Nebraska.  This colorful and compelling exhibit is touring sites throughout the country in 2012. 
 
The Homestead Act of 1862 was one of the most significant and enduring events in the westward expansion of the United States.  Signed into law by Abraham Lincoln in 1862 after the secession of southern states, this Act turned over vast amounts of the public domain to private citizens.  By granting 160 acres of free land to claimants, it allowed nearly any man or woman a chance to live the American Dream.  About 270 million acres, or 10 percent of the area of the United States, was claimed and settled under this Act.
 
Four million people from five different continents filed claims, with 1.6 million receiving land under the Homestead Act of 1862.  An estimated 93 million people are descendants of homesteaders.  The entire social and economic framework of the United States was affected by the Homestead Act.  This great transformation led to profound and lasting changes to the land, American Indians, immigration and migration patterns, industry and agriculture. 
 
The Homestead Act remained in effect until it was repealed in 1976, with provisions for homesteading in Alaska until 1986.  Alaska was one of the last places in the country where homesteading remained a viable option into the latter part of the 1900s.

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska.  For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit www.nps.gov/home.  For more information about the exhibit’s schedule in Montana, please contact Zane Fulbright at the Bureau of Land Management at 406-538-1900.

Traveling Homestead Exhibit Schedule       

Date
Event/Venue
Location
Contact
9/8 -9/9
Chokecherry Festival
Lewistown
Zane Fulbright
(406) 538-1923
9/10-9/14
BLM Field Office
Lewistown
Zane Fulbright
(406) 538-1923
9/20-9/22           
Montana History Conference, Great Northern Hotel
Helena
Zane Fulbright
(406) 538-1923
9/24-9/29
Beaverhead County Museum
Dillon
Jason Strahl
(406) 683-8033
10/1-10/5
Various Locations on Main Street
Shelby/Valier
Judy King
(406) 279-3639
10/6
Shelby Civic Center
Shelby
Judy King
(406) 279-3639
10/9-10/13
Lewistown Library
Lewistown
Zane Fulbright
(406) 538-1923
10/15-10/20
*Speaker Russell Rowland:
10/18 at 6:30 PM
Western Heritage Center
Billings
Dave Lefevre
(406) 896-5037
10/22-26
Fergus County Courthouse
Lewistown
Zane Fulbright
(406) 538-1923



The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.
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Lewistown Field Office   920 NE Main      Lewistown, MT 59457   

Last updated: 09-04-2012