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The Big Why
The Big Why
Montana Public Radio

Answers to your questions — big or small — about anything under the Big Sky. Let's see what we can discover together!

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What's the story behind Montana's old state orphanage?

A Helena listener had a long-simmering curiosity about a relic of Montana history that still sits just across the Beaverhead... more

28 Sep 2023 · 8 minutes
Did you know Montana has a state lullaby?

You may know Montana has an official state animal, a state bird, a state gemstone and a state fruit. But... more

14 Sep 2023 · 9 minutes
What makes Montana's Ringing Rocks ring?

The Ringing Rocks is a roadside attraction people have been visiting for a long time. It's a big heap of... more

17 Aug 2023 · 8 minutes
Last winter was rough in Montana. How did wildlife fare?

The Yellowstone area got more snowfall this winter than any time in the past 23 years. Listeners want to know,... more

03 Aug 2023 · 8 minutes
Why does Montana have such strong stream access laws?

In Montana, we're used to hitting the water in our tubes, rafts or waders and going wherever the river takes... more

20 Jul 2023 · 9 minutes
'I can't drive 55.' Why Montana's speed limits keep increasing

Montana's speed limit has bounced between nonexistent (twice), 55 mph, 75 mph and now 80 mph. Why? Meanwhile, Montana has... more

06 Jul 2023 · 8 minutes
How were Montana's borders drawn?

Montana’s frontier days were stuffed with gold, greed and political corruption — and all three played a part in drawing... more

21 Jun 2023 · 8 minutes
Is passenger rail on track to return to Montana?

One of Montana's passenger rail systems has been out of commission for decades, but some residents want to restore it... more

08 Jun 2023 · 8 minutes
How does a small town rebuild after a devastating wildfire?

A wildfire burned through the small town of Denton, MT in December of 2021. It burned more than 10,000 acres... more

25 May 2023 · 8 minutes
What a century old restaurant can tell us about the Chinese-American experience in the West

The Pekin Noodle Parlor in Butte is the oldest, continually operating family owned Chinese restaurant in the country. But the... more

11 May 2023 · 8 minutes
The Big Why
What's the story behind Montana's old state orphanage?
The Big Why