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 planes 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.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
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.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
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.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
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.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Nov. 25 – On this day in Montana history in 1875 the first issue of the Rocky Mountain Husbandman was published by Robert Sutherlin in Diamond City near Helena. It was the first Montana newspaper devoted to agriculture. Advertisers came from as far away at Corrine, Utah, and Augusta, Maine.
Friday, November 22, 2013
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.”
Thursday, November 21, 2013
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.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
May 20 – On this day in Montana History in 1904 the first “interscholastic athletic and declamatory contest ever held in the state” was underway in Missoula. Students from across the state gathered for track and field competition in the day, and the “declamatory contest” in the evening . Declamatory performances included speeches and musical solos. The contestants were judged “10% for selection, 10% for enunciation, 10% for pronunciation and 70% for general delivery.”
Friday, November 15, 2013
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.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
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.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
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.”
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
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.
Monday, November 11, 2013
Nov. 11 – On this day in Montana history in 1918 at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month World War One ended. Newspapers were filled with the news. The Great Falls Daily Tribune had an ad and story buried in the back pages. “Victory Boys – Victory Girls Attention!” the ad screamed. It called on youth 12 to 18 to attend a rally and pledge to raise money on their own for the aid and comfort of those who had been involved in the fighting or in dangerous war production. It might carry a message for today. Many who are quick to offer the “Thank you for your service” to an active duty military member or veteran could almost be saying “have a good day.” One of the founders of the Victory Boys and Girls called for a new interpretation of thanking those who sacrifice. “(Youth) should be made to realize what true sacrifice means, because from their number in the years to come will be demanded a more unselfish leadership than has ever been demanded from their fathers and mothers.” The words were proved true by future wars. It should never be forgotten that freedom isn’t free and much is owed to those who give their all to stand for it.
Friday, November 8, 2013
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.”
Thursday, November 7, 2013
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.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Brought to you by your friends at the Montana Historical Society
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 types wheel” that always face into the wind -- like those used today. The future was here, but not quite yet.
Friday, November 1, 2013
Nov. 1 – On this day in Montana history in 1893 the Rocky Mountain Telephone Company completed its line from Livingston to Missoula with a conversation “distinctly heard” between “agent Sax and agent H. Somers, superintendent of the line.” Connections were now available with Drummond, Philipsburg, Granite, Garrison, Deer Lodge, Anaconda, Butte, Helena, Townsend, Bozeman and Missoula – and a line between Great Falls and Helena was expected to be completed in a few months.