Friday, November 30, 2012

Nov. 30 – On this day in Montana history in 1941 eight young Montana women were leaving for Chicago to attend the 20th National 4-H Club Congress. They had taken top honors in the state in competitions ranging from dress making, to food preparation to livestock production.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Nov. 29 – On this day in Montana history in 1939 crowds were turning up at the U.S.-Canada border to see American-made military plains being handed over to the Canadian military. It was part of the “Cash and Carry” or Lend Lease plan pushed through by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to provide Canada and those fighting Nazis in Europe with material to keep then in the war.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

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. Montana Gov.  J.E. Erickson said it was a great achievement and the “world-wide publicity” would firmly establish Montana as a wheat growing leader.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nov. 27 – On this day in Montana history in 1931 an early morning fire destroyed the Circle Post Office and the Kalberg Building in which many thousands of dollars worth of farm equipment was lost. Postal authorities were setting up a temporary office to try to determine loses  and restore postal service for the busy Holiday mail traffic in the community.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Nov. 26 – On this day in Montana history in 1976 a train derailment in Belt created a holocaust in which 2 people were killed and more than a dozen injured. The first call for help: “A train is wrecked. There’s gas all over. .. we need help …” and the telephone line went dead. The train wreck caused a propane tank car to explode that caused extensive fires in the southwest section of the town and destroyed several homes and damaged many others. “It broke windows all over town,” one person said.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Nov. 23 – On this day in Montana history in 1936 the first issue of Life magazine hit the newsstands. On the first of its famous covers was a striking photograph of the Fort Peck Dam on the Missouri River. Making it even more famous, the photo was taken by legendary Life photographer Margaret Bourke-White.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Nov. 22 – On this day in Montana history in 1883 Ed Stone, representing the Northern Pacific railroad, secured the rights to the proposed town site of Gardiner. Lots were being readied for sale, and the extension of the rail line from Livingston to Gardiner and its nearness to Yellowstone National Park meant the “town will grow and flourish.”

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Nov. 21 – On this day in Montana history in 1877 Montanans were talking about reports that Native American survivors of the Nez Perce battle in the Bear Paws who had made it into Canada were suffering from a lack of provisions. Many were quietly slipping back across the border, and Indian scouts said that of the nearly 300 Nez Perce who made it into Canada only about 100 remained there.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Nov. 20 – On this day in Montana history in 1877 an American Commission had returned to U.S. soil after meeting with Sitting Bull in Canada where he went after the Battle of the Little Big Horn. The Helena Daily Herald reported  “The Canadian authorities were puzzling over the disposition to be made of Sitting Bull and his band.” One of the commissioners reported that Sitting Bull was making threats to attack people in the United States. A Maj. Walsh reportedly said to Sitting Bull: “if he attempted to attack the American troops or traders from Canadian soil, (they) would shoot him on the spot.” 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Nov. 19 – On this day in Montana history in 1883 the Livingston Daily Enterprise ran together a variety of news tidbits that give insights into how communities grew. A 1,200 foot “shed” was being built at the west end of the Mullan tunnel. The United States Geological surveying party that had been working out of Livingston “has disbanded and gone east.”  Basinski Bros. had put up 2,000 head of sheep on their range at Tongue River. And a “runaway team attached to a load of wood made a lively scene on Main street this morning, but fortunately did no damage except to the outfit.”

Friday, November 16, 2012

Nov. 16 – On this day in Montana history in 1877 The Helena Daily Herald reported the dedication of the “first church edifice” in Beaverhead County at Bannack. Noted religious leaders from across the state took part in the services, and the Herald said “they have the satisfaction of knowing they have one of the most comfortable and pleasant church buildings in Montana.”

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Nov. 15 – On this day in Montana history in 1886 an arctic storm brought heavy snow and freezing temperatures to Montana. It was to become one of the worst winters in recorded history, and the death of thousands of cattle brought an end to the open range period of cattlemen.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Nov. 14 – On this day in Montana history in 1871 a bitter hand was dealt to the Salish Tribe when President U.S. Grant issued an executive order to relocate the tribe to a reservation in Jocko Valley from their traditional Bitterroot Valley home lands. Chief Charlot and a band of 360 Salish refused to go, but were finally forced to accept the move after fighting the government for the right to stay free.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Nov. 13 – On this day in Montana history in 1902 the Dupuyer Acantha had an advertisement that reminds us of how much we take creature comforts for granted now days. Mrs. F.H. Dean, the “proprietress” of the Dupuyer Hotel, announced the hotel was under new management. “First Class in Every Respect. Board by the Day or Week at Reasonable Rates,” the ad said. In bold letters the ad then screamed out its main selling point: “Hot and Cold Water.” 

Nov. 12 – On this day in Montana History in 1809 David Thompson, for whom Thompson Falls is named, started work on his Salish House trading post on the north bank of the Clark Fork River in the Flathead Valley. It had three log structures -- a warehouse, an office, and living quarters. It was Montana’s first trading post and remained the center of the fur trade in the valley for 40 years.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Nov. 9 – On this day in Montana history in 1919 artist Edgar Paxson died in Missoula at age 67. He started out as a sign painter, and one of his signs is on display in Virginia City. His later artworks, including beautiful murals in the entry way to the House Chamber in the State Capitol, tell the story of Montana in its early years. Paxson also was a veteran and died from complications of wounds he has suffered during the Spanish American War where he served in the Montana Volunteers that are now the National Guard.MHS has a major Paxon exhibit up currently in the Museum just east of the State Capitol.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Nov. 8 – On this day in Montana history in 1889 the key in Helena’s Western Union telegraph office clicked out the message that President Benjamin Harrison had just signed a proclamation making Montana the 41st state in the union. The news came as a surprise, and the Great Falls Tribune headline read “News Not Expected So Soon – A General Celebration Deferred.”

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Nov. 7 – On this day in Montana history in 1869 John Bishop and Richard Reynolds brought the first sheep into Montana to their ranches on the Beaverhead River near what is now Dillon. They brought the sheep in from Oregon and said it took 80 days which was “a pretty slow trip to the tune of blatting sheep.” Cattlemen were upset, but sheep became an important part of agriculture in Montana.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Nov. 6 – On this day in Montana history in 1931 an advertisement in the Circle Banner reminds us that no matter how much things change, the more they remain the same. The Jacobs Wind Electric Co. took out a half-page ad touting the future with “Self Governing, Wind Electric, Farm Lighting Plants.” Complete with a photograph that looks surprisingly like the windmill generators popping up across the country today, the ad noted that the secret was “the three-bladed, centrifugal governor-controlled, propeller type wheel” that always face into the wind -- like those used today. The future was here, but not quite yet.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Nov. 5 – On this day in Montana history in 1887 a young visionary named Sword Bearer was killed in a skirmish with U.S. Cavalry on the Crow Reservation. Sword Bearer had a spiritual experience that caused him to see himself as a prophet and savior of his people. He had caused such a stir on the reservation that the people of Billings were talking about forming a militia to put the uprising down. The uprising was even more surprising because the tribe had a record of peaceful relations with whites for a full decade after suppression of hostilities on the northern plains. His death is still controversial, and even the Billings Gazette said this about his vision: “It was one of the most remarkable incidents in the history of the northwestern Indians that nearly 200 of them should stand before 15 companies of soldiers and a battery of Hotchkiss rifles on the strength of such a belief.”