Sept. 1 – On this day in Montana history in 1953 newspapers used large headlines to warn “Every Highway will be Passable but Dangerous Over Labor Day.” The public service ad campaign noted that 290 people were being killed and more than 13,600 injured nationally on an average weekend. That number jumped significantly on Labor Day, and newspapers warned “Slow Down! The Life You Save May be Your Own.”
Monday, August 31, 2015
Aug. 31 – On this day in Montana history in 1953 Montanans experienced their first television commercial. KXLF owned by famous broadcaster Ed Craney in Butte moved the station’s only camera to the street where automobiles for sale by the Wilson Motor Company were paraded by it as an announcer described them. Depending on your point of view, the ad was said to be successful and millions more were to follow.
Sunday, August 30, 2015
Aug. 30 – On this day in Montana history in 1901 one of the worst train wreck disasters in Montana and U.S. history occurred near Kalispell when 28 cars broke loose from a train stopped for water, and crashed into another train. Thirty-four people were killed in the wreck, many of them burned alive in the fire that quickly engulfed the wreckage.
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Aug. 29 – On this day in Montana history in 1916 actor George Montgomery was born on a farm near Great Falls. One of his favorite things to do when young was to sneak in to the Mint Saloon and look at the Charlie Russell paintings there. He starred in many films and married singer Dinah Shore.
Friday, August 28, 2015
Aug. 28 – On this day in Montana history in 1878 the first corporate use of a telephone took place at the Hecla Mine. It was a project of the Stuart, Cable City and Phillipsburg Telegraph and Telephone Co. Stuart was located near Opportunity in Deer Lodge County, and Cable City was in Warm Spring Canyon. The Hecla mine was west of Melrose.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Aug. 27 – On this day in Montana history in 1864 the first newspaper published in Montana Territory, the Montana Post, hit the streets of the gold boom town of Virginia City. Although Thomas Dimsdale is often credited with being the first editor of the Post, the first four issues were edited by John Buchanan. Dimsdale was hired as editor for the fifth issue. The paper was moved to Helena in 1868 with the discovery of gold there. All of the extant issues of the Post and 95 percent of all the newspapers ever published in Montana are available at the Montana Historical Society.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Sept. 26 – On this day in Montana history in 1910 the first successful public flight in the state of Montana was made at the Montana State Fair Grounds in Helena. Pilot J.C. “Bud” Mars made two successful flights in his Curtiss plane. The flights dispelled skepticism of many who doubted it would be possible for a plane to take off at Helena’s altitude of 4,157 feet.