May 24 – On this day in Montana history in 1898 what were called rough riders from the !st Montana Volunteers left Montana headed to Cuba to fight there in the Spanish American War. That part of the war was over by the time they got to Florida. However, the 1st Volunteers were sent to the Philippines to fight the Spanish there. They fought for nearly two years in a part of the war that was largely forgotten in history.
Monday, May 23, 2016
May 23 – On this day in Montana history in 1908 the National Bison Range was created by Congress at the request of President Teddy Roosevelt on 18,500 acres of land in the Flathead Valley. It was the first federal purchase of land for a wildlife refuge. The American Bison Society later raised more than $10,000 to buy 34 bison that formed the nucleus for the herd that still grazes their today.
Sunday, May 22, 2016
May 22 – On this day in Montana history in 1914 The Red Lodge Picket reported a tale that reminds us today of the ease of automobile travel that for many years could not be taken for granted. Local attorney R. Wiggenhorn and Deputy Game Warden George Mushbach decided to drive their families to Billings for an outing. They fought the roads until five miles from Billings when the added difficulty of a heavy rain storm left their cars buried in “gumbo” along the road. The paper reported that the ears of the children in the cars had to be covered when the two men vented their anger “about the weather man, about the roads, about automobiles and about things in general.” The families of the two men returned to Red Lodge on the train, leaving the two men to dig out their cars.
Saturday, May 21, 2016
May 21 – On this day in Montana history in 1956 Gov. J. Hugo Aronson called for a “highway litterbug cleanup campaign.” He said that state highway funds were limited and trying to deal with the problem took money away from other needed highway and bridge projects. He urged groups like the Jaycees to undertake a statewide campaign to clean Montana up. Perhaps showing how far ahead of his time he was, Aronson said it was just as important to keep Montana green as it was to keep its roadways clean.
Friday, May 20, 2016
May 20 – On this day in Montana history in 1904 what the Missoulian called a “Memorable Day in State Athletics” was wrapping up the second and final day of the first statewide track and field meet in Montana history. As the students gathered for the event, the Missoulian noted “It was the first introduction that many Montana persons, especially among the younger generation, had ever had to a track meet.” The paper went on to predict – and correctly so – that “interscholastic track meets shall become a household word and an event to be looked forward to with the keenest of growing interest from year to year.”
Thursday, May 19, 2016
May 19 – On this day in Montana history in 1945 Army Tech 4 Laverne Parish who grew up in Ronan and Pablo was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously. He volunteered shortly after the outbreak of WW11 as a medic telling his family he “wanted to save more lives than he took.” On Jan. 18, 1945, in an action in the Philippines Parish repeatedly crossed open grounds to rescue and care for his comrades being racked by hostile fire. After saving and treating 37 injured soldiers, he was killed by enemy mortar fire. Only seven Montanans have received the Medal of Honor.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
May 18 – On this day in Montana history in 1917 the commanding officer of the battleship U.S.S. Montana wrote to Mrs. H.R. Cunningham, president of the Women’s Auxiliary in Helena for the Navy League, with a list of “knitted articles” the crew needed. It included 2,000 pairs of woolen socks, 1,000 pairs of mittens, and “700 visored caps to pull down to the shoulders.” She said the only thing holding her group back was getting the sewing stores to get the needles and yarn they needed.