Dec. 20 – On this day in 1985 the Montana Standard proclaimed “ ‘Lady’ Mission Accomplished.” The “Lady of the Rockies” statue -- with the help of a helicopter -- was in place high above the city after a project that lasted five years. It was reported that fire engines' sirens, honking horns and shouting people all welcomed the 90-foot-high “Lady” to the mining city.
Dec. 21 – On this day in Montana history in 1863 outlaw George Ives was hanged from a log beam in a cabin in the rough and tumble Montana mining town of Nevada City near Virginia City. He was hanged for the murder of Nicholas “Dutchman” Tiebolt. A short “trial” was held on the street and presided over by Wilbur F. Sanders. When Tiebolt asked for time to write his mother before they hanged him, a member of the crowd shouted out: “How much time did he give the Dutchman!” Not much.
Dec. 22 – On this day in Montana history in 1930 novelist Ernest Hemmingway was released from St. Vincent’s Hospital in Billings where he had been hospitalized for more than a month following an automobile accident near Red Lodge. Hemmingway had friends and spent time hunting in Montana in the Cooke City area. Some of his Montana experiences wound up in his novels.
Dec. 23 – On this day in Montana history in 1971 advertisements in the Helena Independent Record show that Christmas gifts really were simpler and cheaper in the “old days.” Play-Doh was selling for 59 cents, slinky toys for 88 cents, radio steel wagons for $7.77, and even a “delicious” box of Brach’s chocolates for $3.99. Santa must look back nostalgically.