Back in 1939, when FDR's New Deal took effect, citizens of Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota took issue with it and decided to form their own state. The residents, mostly land owners and ranchers in the area, didn't like how it took democratic control of state governments, and especially the government of Wyoming.

The state was called Absaroka, and it almost got as far as statehood. It had a governor, license plates issued in its name, and even a Miss Absaroka 1939, though she would be the only one to have the title.

The name Absaroka comes from the Crow language, and means "children of the large-beaked bird." You might also recognize the name as the fictional county name used by Craig Johnson in the Longmire Mystery series, of which Walt Longmire is the sheriff.


The short-lived state even selected Sheridan, Wyoming as its capitol, as it contained most of the northern part of the State of Wyoming, part of southern Montana, and the Black Hills region of South Dakota. While state borders may not lie there any longer, there's still a decided difference in the ideology of would-be Absarokans, as the majority found within those lines leans heavily to the conservative.

The story was covered by the New York Times as an example of the Western Spirit of independence, and the frontier's refusal to play by the rules expected of them. So what do you think? Would you be a resident of the fictional state of Absaroka?

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