Friday, October 31, 2014

Oct. 31 – On this day in Montana history in 1974 the Montana Historical Society held its first 3-day Montana History Conference in Helena.  “Technology and the Environment in Montana History” was one of the first sessions. The conferences have been held annually ever since.  

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Oct. 30 – On this day in Montana history in 1864 Helena held its first town meeting in the cabin of Capt. George Wood. Actually, one of the first things those in attendance did was to take a secret ballot that resulted in the mining camp being called Helena. The first job they ordered done was to survey and lay out streets, and plot building sites into thirty-by-sixty foot lots and record them. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Oct. 29 – On this day in Montana History in 1877 wagon trains carrying Nez Perce prisoners captured at the Battle of the Bears Paws Mountains left from Miles City headed for internment at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. Two days later a mackinaw flotilla also carrying captives departed up the Yellowstone River to take more Nez Perce to prison.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Oct. 28 – On this day in Montana history in 1942 B-17 flying fortresses roared over Lewiston’s Main Street with their bomb bay doors open and landed at the Lewistown airfield. They were the first of many that came to bases on the high line to train on the then highly secret Norden bombsight. More than half the men trained there later died in bombing raids over Europe.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Oct. 27 – On this day in Montana history in 1879 liquor and wine merchant John Denn was murdered in Helena. He was known to keep large sums of cash in his store and that was the apparent reason for his murder. The death ended the relative tranquility Helena had enjoyed through the 1870s and revived calls for a vigilance committee to go after the rough men in the community. The 3-7-77 warning signs of the 1860s left on the doors of people to tell them to leave the community made resurgence, but many people did not know what they meant. It showed that law and order was still a nebulous thing in the Queen City.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Oct. 24 -- On this day in Montana history in 1926 Cowboy Artist Charles M. Russell died at his Great Falls home.  He was mourned across the Montana he loved and painted and by art lovers across the nation. His artwork told the story of the Montana he knew as a cow puncher, artist and observer of all about him. The Great Falls Tribune headline read: “Genius whose brush portrayed the colorful life of Montana’s early days, lays down his palette to answer great call.” The title of one of his most famous paintings done shortly before his death and now in the collection at the Montana Historical Society sums up his philosophy: “Laugh Kills Lonesome.”

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Oct. 23 – On this day in Montana history in 1844 Louis Riel who would spend a lot of his life in Montana was born in a M├ętis Indian farming colony in the Red River Valley in what is now Manitoba, Canada. In his tumultuous lifetime, Riel led two unsuccessful rebellions in Canada against that nation that cost him his life. His happiest years were spent in Montana where he worked for the rights of his people and began the decade’s long fight to win them a reservation in Big Sky Country.