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Today I visited the Montana State Capitol in Helena, Montana.  I was a little reminded by my visit to the Vermont State Capitol in 2012.  No security, no metal detectors.  Walk right in and make yourself at home.  In fact, if I had know better I would have been able to literally park right next to the entrance.  There were open spaces and no – “no parking” signs.

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I arrived too late to take part in a guided tour, so I was left on my own to explore.  The old Supreme Court Chambers looks like it is still being used in some capacity.  Why else would there be the out of place stackable chairs more commonly found in hotel conference rooms?

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If the House had been in session I might not have noticed, but since it wasn’t I was paying more close attention to the aesthetics.  The chamber is wallpapered.

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I wasn’t able to enter the Senate chamber.  All gallery doors were locked so I took this picture from a window in a door.

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This is the first state capitol cafeteria I have visited. It was closed, but wondered what the legislators who are “politically incorrect” do for lunch?

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Speaking of politically incorrect, I found this monument on the east side of the capitol grounds, nearly identical to the one formerly at the Oklahoma State Capitol.  Little did I know when I visited there a little over 2 years ago that the monument would be demolished, replaced and then ordered removed by the state supreme court.  I wonder what will happen to this monument over the next 2 years!

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Across the street from the capitol is the Montana Historical Society.  On the grounds of the museum is a replica of the Liberty Bell.  Yesterday was Independence Day, the 24oth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain.  There were no signs but I’m guessing this replica was cast in 1976, the 200th anniversary, which is now 40 years ago!