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Friday, December 19, 2014

Dec. 19 – On this day in Montana history in 1919 the Rev. W.W. Van Orsdel, known fondly as “Brother Van” across Montana, died in Great Falls. Brother Van arrived in Montana in 1872 and held his first services on the steamboat dock at Fort Benton. During his life he traveled the state preaching the gospel and helping organize churches and other civic missions. He was widely mourned throughout the state.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Dec. 18 – On this day in Montana history in 1876 the final battle of what was known as the Great Sioux War occurred. Lt. Frank D. Baldwin, who was a Civil War veteran and holder of two Congressional Medals of Honor, and 140 troopers attacked and destroyed Sitting Bull’s camp of 122 lodges and about 1,000 Native Americans on Ash Creek, a tributary of the Redwater River south of Brockway. The weather was bitter cold, and surprisingly neither side suffered any casualties in the encounter. But the action forced most of the Native Americans back to reservations and ended the conflict that included the famous Battle of the Little Big Horn.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Dec. 16 – On this day in Montana history in 1961 Santa used a helicopter to come to Great Falls where he landed on the roof of the downtown O’Haire Manor Motel. It brought thousands of people to see the spectacle and do some shopping. Santa noted that he wasn’t giving up on his traditional Christmas transportation: “Rudolph and the rest of the reindeer are home resting up for Christmas Eve,” he said.
Dec. 16 – On this day in Montana history in 1961 Santa used a helicopter to come to Great Falls where he landed on the roof of the downtown O’Haire Manor Motel. It brought thousands of people to see the spectacle and do some shopping. Santa noted that he wasn’t giving up on his traditional Christmas transportation: “Rudolph and the rest of the reindeer are home resting up for Christmas Eve,” he said.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dec. 15 – On this day in Montana history in 1893 the North West Tribune proudly proclaimed that Stevensville had been “lit up by electricity amid much rejoicing, band playing and whistles blowing.” Montana towns were racing to enter into the modern age of electricity.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Dec. 12 – On this day in Montana history in 1965 Montana rodeo star and rodeo producer Oral Zumwalt was one of eight people honored as the first inductees into the Rodeo Hall of Fame at the Western Heritage Center in Oklahoma City. Zumwalt lived for many years in the Wolf Creek and Augusta area and later moved to Missoula where he headquartered his rodeo production company.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Nov. 28 – On this day in Montana history in 1926 Montana grain growers were racking up awards at the International Livestock Show in Chicago. Of the 125 awards given in the wheat category, Montana grain growers won 53 of them including eight of the 15 awards for white spring wheat and those were the top seven places in the category. C. Edson Smith of Corvallis won first place for hard red winter wheat.