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The act creating Montana Territory was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on May 26, 1864. In 2014, the Missoulian is helping Montan…

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A party led by two sons of famed French explorer Sieur de La Verendrye made what many believe to be the first sighting by Europeans of Montana…

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Con Orem and Hugh O’Neil battled to a 185-round draw in Virginia City in one of the longest prizefights in history. The match for $1,000 in go…

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Montana’s territorial legislature convened for the first time in Helena after one session in Bannack in 1864-65 and the next seven in Virginia…

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Vigilantes hanged their first two victims, Red Yeager and George Brown, at the Rattlesnake Ranch west of present-day Dillon. The “vigilance co…

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Gov. Benjamin Potts and Helena Mayor John Kinna bored the first two holes in a ceremony marking the opening of drilling on the Mullan Tunnel t…

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Former U.S. Sen. Burton K. Wheeler died of a stroke in Washington, D.C., at 92. Wheeler served in the Senate from 1923-1947. He settled in But…

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Joseph K. Toole, Montana’s first governor, began his second term after eight years out of office. In his inaugural address, he spoke of the ex…

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Federal and county officers made Missoula County’s biggest bust of the Prohibition era so far. A raid of the King house four miles south of Lo…

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The switch was flipped on the new W.A. Clark dam near Milltown, illuminating the hydroelectric plant for the first time. The gates had been cl…

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The colorful criminal career of Henry Plummer came to an end at the end of a rope in a gulch near Bannack. Vigilantes strung up the suave 27-y…

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Warmed by a 25-mph chinook, temperatures at Great Falls International Airport rose from minus 32 degrees to 15 degrees above zero in seven min…

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The first territorial legislature in Bannack passed a law authorizing the use of water for irrigating farmland, on the traditional English pri…

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On a Friday the 13th, the Heiji Midgets of Japan fell 67-19 to the Montana Grizzlies in the first international basketball game ever played in…

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Outlaw Frank “Horsethief” Jones was killed in a cabin near Scobey. Leader of a gang of rustlers in northeastern Montana since 1899, Jones had …

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A warehouse fire on Butte’s south side drew a large crowd of spectators. Fifty-seven died when the fire spread to another building where 350 b…

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Fire destroyed most of the original Bonner sawmill. Called at the time “the greatest fire in the history of Western Montana,” the conflagratio…

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Monuments of Missoula’s early history disappeared when James Reinhard had the cottonwood trees on the 200 block of East Pine Street sawed down…

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A bill authorizing admission of Montana, Dakota, New Mexico and Washington into the Union was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. The…

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Marcus Daly, George Hearst, Lloyd Tevis and James Ben Ali Haggin incorporated their copper operation as the Anaconda Mining Co. The papers wer…

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The official temperature reading at Rogers Pass on Highway 200 between Lincoln and Great Falls reached 70 degrees below zero. It was the colde…

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Nine died when a bus carrying the Whitefish High School wrestling team home from Browning collided with an empty fuel truck and burst into fla…

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Former Montana vigilante and lawman John X. Beidler died at 6 a.m. at the Pacific Hotel in Helena from complications due to pneumonia. The 5-f…

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Army troops under Maj. Eugene Baker attacked the wrong camp of Piegans and killed at least 175 on the Marias River near Shelby. Baker’s instru…

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Testimony in Washington, D.C., prompted by Sen. Thomas Walsh of Montana helped break the Teapot Dome scandal. Walsh headed a Senate committee …

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Gov. Donald Nutter and five others perished in a fiery plane crash 35 miles north of Helena. Nutter, 46, was flying from Helena to Cut Bank fo…

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Carry Nation, a 63-year-old temperance champion, took her nationwide fight to the streets of Butte. She entered the Irish World in the red-lig…

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Ella Knowles Haskell, Montana's first female lawyer, died from an infection at her home in Butte. Haskell, from New Hampshire, passed the stat…

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The worst blizzard of the devastating winter of 1886-87 struck the northern plains. The mercury plummeted to 40 below and driving winds piled …

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Fairmont Corp. petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to buy a Great Falls radio station. The resulting hearing disclosed that Fairm…

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The first of four sales of Marcus Daly’s world-renowned race horses began at Madison Square Garden in New York. Two months after Daly’s death,…

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The deadline came and went for Sioux hunters in the Yellowstone and Powder River country to return to their reservations. The secretary of the…

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Montana passed its first branding law, making it a $500 offense and up to a year in county jail to mark someone else’s stock with your own bra…

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The nine original counties of Montana were established by the first territorial legislature in Bannack: Beaverhead, Big Horn, Chouteau, Deer L…

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Bill Hunter, suspected road agent for Henry Plummer’s gang, was executed on the banks of the Gallatin River. By the reckoning of Montana Post …

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Pvt. Michael Henry of the First Montana Volunteer Infantry, standing sentry, became the first American to be fired on, and the first to return…

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Five died when a runaway freight train on the Northern Pacific crashed into the back of a passenger train between Austin and Helena. Among tho…

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Republican senators in Montana’s first state Legislature adopted resolutions authorizing fines and arrests of their Democratic counterparts wh…

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In the closing days of Montana Territory’s first legislative assembly in Bannack, Virginia City was chosen as the site of future sessions and …

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Northern Pacific crews completed the ice harvest at the railroad’s Missoula section. Warehouses were packed with 7,800 tons of ice chunks meas…

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White Eagle, the last of the chiefs of the Gros Ventres, died near Fort Clagett on the Missouri River. At the time more than 2,000 Gros Ventre…

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U.S. Rep. Joseph Dixon, R-Mont., predicted at the second annual dinner of the Montana Society of New York that his state’s population would re…

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Sacajawea gave birth to a son at the Mandan Village on the Missouri River in present-day North Dakota. In the next 19 months the Shoshone woma…

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The Yellowstone Wagon Road and Prospecting Expedition moved out from a rendezvous ranch east of Bozeman with 130 well-armed men. Their gold hu…

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Jefferson Henry Pelkey was born to Adeline and Robert in Grass Valley west of Missoula. He is believed to be the first child born to white par…

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Priests under Joseph Giorda established the third Jesuit mission among the Blackfeet on the Missouri River south of Great Falls. The first two…

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The first documented discovery of gold in Montana was made near Fort Owen in the Bitterroot Valley, perhaps on Mill Creek west of Corvallis. “…

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An exhibit of nine Charles M. Russell paintings, most belonging to Paris Gibson of Great Falls, opened at the Plymouth Church in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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Charles Broadwater’s Diamond R Freighting Co. announced a fast-freight service between Helena and Utah, with mule-powered wagons leaving Helen…

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Traders at Fort McKenzie lured Blackfeet leaders inside to trade, then ambushed them.

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Congress passed the Enlarged Homestead Act, increasing from 160 to 320 acres the free land granted to those who stayed for five years and impr…

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Kate Virginia Caven became the first white child born in Virginia City. She was the child of singer/actress Flora and Buz Caven, a renowned fi…

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Montana’s first telephone exchange was installed in Butte. Rocky Mountain Bell Telephone Co. signed up 14 subscribers, most of them businesses…

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Ten days before leaving office, President Grover Cleveland signed the Enabling Act, which provided that Montana, Washington, and North and Sou…

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The Montana Legislature approved an act creating the State Normal School in Dillon. The school’s mission was the instruction and training of t…

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An ice jam on the Missouri River flooded the river port town of Fort Benton for the first time. Water 2 feet high covered Front Street. Attemp…

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The “ghost session” of the Montana Territorial Legislature convened in Virginia City. Congress was investigating the body even as acting gover…

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David Thompson and his Kootenai/Iroquois guide Le Gauche, or Lefthand, climbed a knoll on Missoula’s north fringe and made the first map of th…

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Montana’s worst coal mine disaster claimed the lives of 74 men at the Smith Mine east of Red Lodge. Three miners closest to the entrance were …

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Hill County, named for railroad builder James Hill, was created from Chouteau County along the Canadian border. Its seat was established at Ha…

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Pioneer and prospector James Stuart took a ransomed Shoshone Indian woman as his wife in the mining camp at Gold Creek. He and his partner sup…

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Sen. Thomas J. Walsh died suddenly of a heart attack on a train in North Carolina. The 73-year-old Walsh was en route to Washington, D.C., wit…

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President Abraham Lincoln signed the act of Congress creating Idaho Territory. It contained all of what is now Idaho and Montana and most of W…

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Montana’s Mike Mansfield announced his retirement from the U.S. Senate after 34 years in Congress and a record 16 as Senate majority leader. D…

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Montana’s first public school opened its doors in the Union Church in Virginia City, with an enrollment of 81. Sarah Raymond taught the older …

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Cavalry troops from Fort Ellis near Bozeman evacuated 19 men from a besieged trading post on the Yellowstone River near the mouth of the Big H…

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A panty raid of a women’s dorm on the Montana State College campus in Bozeman made national news when it turned into a two-hour riot. The dist…

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Assistant Warden John Robinson was killed and Warden Frank Conley wounded during an escape attempt at the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge. …

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Children drove the first spikes of the first railroad to reach Montana in a celebration at Monida Pass. The Utah and Northern was being built …

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Vigilantes of Alder Gulch hanged Joseph Slade in Virginia City. His main crimes seemed to be terrorizing the town on a drunken rampage and pul…

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Montana’s first and fourth governor, Joseph K. Toole, died at his apartment in Helena after a long illness. He was 77. Toole was 18 when he ar…

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Trapper Alexander Ross and a party of whites and Indians reached what Ross would label “The Valley of Troubles” and others would call Ross’ Ho…

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Gov. John E. Erickson resigned at 5:32 p.m. At 5:43, he accepted appointment to the U.S. Senate from his successor, Frank Cooney. Erickson fil…

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The newly completed Lower Works smelter in Anaconda was destroyed by a quarter-million-dollar fire. The plant, built to handle increased outpu…

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Gov. Samuel Stewart approved a bill regulating prizefighting and named a state boxing commission. Under the law, 12-round contests were permit…

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Pioneer businessman Thomas C. Power, one of Montana's first U.S. senators, died peacefully in his home in Helena at the end of a long illness.…

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Col. Joseph Reynolds led the first major offensive of the Sioux War of 1876 against a large village on the Powder River. He thought he was att…

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Lewis and Clark accepted Touissant Charbonneau’s apologies and accepted him back at Fort Mandan as an interpreter for their expedition. He’d b…

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Charles Marion Russell was born at his family’s home in St. Louis. The third of six children born to Charles and Mary Russell, Charlie came we…

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An ad in the St. Louis Missouri Republican called for “one hundred men, to ascend the river Missouri to it source, there to be employed for on…

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The State Board of Education held its first session in Bozeman, accepting donation of a 200-acre campus site for the Agricultural College of M…

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The Montana Senate impeached District Judge Charles Crum of Forsyth for disloyalty and sedition. Crum, an outspoken opponent of America's entr…

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Ten horses burned to death in a fire at the late Marcus Daly's Bitterroot Stock Farm in Hamilton. The blaze also consumed 50 tons of hay. It w…

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A violent spring blizzard claimed the lives of 17 soldiers near the stage station of The Leavings, where the Mullan Road left the Sun River Va…

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A constitutional convention called by acting territorial governor Thomas F. Meagher convened in Virginia City. In the next six days, it adopte…

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The Rev. E.T. McLaughlin held the first Sunday religious services in Helena, barely eight months after gold was discovered in Last Chance Gulc…

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Congress appropriated $2.3 million to fight a war against grasshoppers in Montana and seven other Western states. A drought in the heart of th…

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A heavy spring snowfall on what became Monida Pass blocked the exits of James and Granville Stuart and Reece Anderson from the Beaverhead Vall…

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Col. John Gibbon's battalion of 207 men laid over for the day, at Fort Ellis (Bozeman) after slogging for 11 days through snow and mud from Fo…

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Copper king F. Augustus Heinze was fined $20,000 on a contempt charge in Butte.  A federal court judge ruled Heinze of violating injunctions f…

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Montanans learned that up to 3 inches of radioactive snow had fallen south of Billings a few days before. A geologist said the snow fell as a …

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Philip Constans and Henry Jurgens opened a store to establish Silver City, named for a woman who had died there on the wagon road. It was the …

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Jeannette Rankin of Missoula was introduced as the first female member of the U.S. Congress after weeks of debate over whether a woman should …

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The Eastern Montana Livestock Association and the Montana Stockgrowers consolidated their operations under the name of the latter organization…

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Bob Foster successfully defended his world light heavyweight title against Montana’s Roger Rouse of Opportunity when the referee stopped the c…

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Samuel Hauser received a charter for the First National Bank of Helena. It was indeed Montana Territory’s first national bank. Hauser moved hi…

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Sixteen-year-old Charlie Russell of St. Louis arrived with Pike Miller at Miller’s ranch two miles from Utica on the Judith River. The future …

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Lewis and Clark and 31 companions left winter quarters at Fort Mandan and headed west on the Missouri River in pirogues and canoes. “We were n…

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President Theodore Roosevelt addressed a cheering crowd at the Livingston depot, then “disappeared” into Yellowstone National Park for 16 days…

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Benjamin White was sworn in as Montana’s final territorial governor. A central figure in the founding of Dillon when the railroad arrived ther…

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A Senate committee in Washington, D.C., voted to unseat Montana’s William A. Clark. The panel had heard testimony since January of Clark’s all…

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French Foreign Minister Charles de Tallyrand made a startling proposal that led to one of the United States’ most important land deals – the L…

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Blackfeet attacked a small party of Pierre Menard’s trapping company near Three Forks, killing two and capturing three. It was enough to drive…

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Great Northern railway workers in Montana and elsewhere went on strike at noon in a walkout that closed down tracks for nearly three weeks. Th…

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Three mule teams rolled into Helena, carrying the archives of Montana Territory and the property of Secretary James Calloway. Helena had wrest…

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Alexander Ross of the Hudson’s Bay Co. led a small party out of the Bitterroot Valley after a month trapped by snow near Sula. Two days later,…

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A nine-day trial of young U.S. Sen. Burton K. Wheeler got underway in U.S. District Court in Great Falls. In the early stages of a 24-year ten…

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James Sanders, oldest of five sons of pioneer lawyer, senator and vigilante William Fisk Sanders, died in Helena, three days after he was run …

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John Bozeman was killed east of Livingston on the road he blazed through Indian Country. His companion, Tom Cover, was wounded in what Cover s…

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The Grand Lodge of Good Templars of Montana organized in Helena. It was part of the temperance revival that swept the nation after the Civil W…

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Virginia City’s so-called Flour Riot of 1865 ended without bloodshed. Indignant miners rebelled against the extravagant prices being charged f…

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Guards opened fire on pickets assembled near the Anaconda Co. mines in Butte, killing two men and wounding 14. The strikers belonged to the In…

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Montana pioneer Granville Stuart left Miles City on horseback in a search for desirable cattle range. Stuart’s descriptions of the country he …

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President William McKinley called on Montana to send 500 volunteers to serve in the Spanish-American War. The state had nearly 1,400 enrolled …

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News of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender to Union forces at Appomattox on April 9 reached Helena. No Union flag could be found, so the few women…

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The flight of some 300 unemployed men headed for Washington, D.C., on a train stolen in Butte ended in Forsyth after two days. Federal troops …

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Sgt. Patrick Gass became arguably the first white man to set foot in what would become Montana. Gass was with the Lewis and Clark expedition o…

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Henry H. Rogers and William Rockefeller incorporated Amalgamated Copper Co. in Princeton, N.J., organizing the properties of Marcus Daly’s Ana…

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Helena’s second and most destructive fire of 1869 destroyed the heart of the business district. Most of the buildings were of log or light woo…

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The Fort Laramie Treaty was signed in eastern Wyoming Territory, closing two U.S. forts in Wyoming and Fort Smith in Montana on the contentiou…

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Arthur Compton and Joseph Wilson became the last victims of Helena’s infamous Hangman Tree. The two were convicted by “mobocracy” on the court…

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Congress ratified the Sweetgrass Hills Treaty, establishing three of Montana’s seven Indian reservations across the northern tier of the terri…

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Four prospectors at Gold Creek dug what’s been called Montana’s first prospecting hole. “Near the bank of the creek at the foot of the mountai…

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A white bison was born at the National Bison Range in Moiese. He was named “Big Medicine” because of the sacred power attributed to white biso…

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Seven gold prospectors were released by Crow captors on the Yellowstone on condition they return upriver. The party included William Fairweath…

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Webster Merrifield was appointed first president of the state university in Missoula by the Montana Board of Education. He resigned weeks late…

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Crazy Horse surrendered at Camp Robinson, Neb. He led a procession of nearly 900 Oglala Sioux that stretched two miles. A principal in the vic…

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The Great Sioux War of 1876 ended when Gen. Nelson Miles destroyed a camp of Minneconjoux Sioux and killed Chief Lame Deer in southeastern Mon…

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James and Granville Stuart, Jim Minesinger and Thomas Adams began to wash gravel from new sluices in the Deer Lodge Valley on Gold Creek. The …

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Nathaniel P. Langford was appointed first superintendent of Yellowstone National Park by the secretary of the Interior. A member of the 1870 W…

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President William H. Taft signed into law a bill creating Glacier National Park. The act redesignated some 1.1 million acres of forest preserv…

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Writer/sculptor Frank Bird Linderman died of a heart attack in Santa Barbara, Calif., at age 69. An old friend of Charles M. Russell, Linderma…

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Montana native and two-time Oscar winner Gary Cooper died of cancer in his Hollywood home. He was born Frank James Cooper in Helena in 1901 an…

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The Lewis and Clark expedition, minus Meriwether Lewis, broke camp on the Wood River in Illinois and began the long journey up the Missouri Ri…

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Helena ended a policy of separate schools based on race. Segregated schools had emerged in many cities after the Civil War, and Helena establi…

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St. Regis Paper Co. announced plans to build a plywood plant employing 200 employees in Libby by the following spring. The lumber giant had bo…

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The Montana Library Association was established at a meeting in Missoula. Gertrude Buckhouse of Missoula presided over the gathering of librar…

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Mount St. Helens in western Washington erupted at 8:32 a.m. Pacific Time, sending clouds of ash that reached Idaho and Montana by afternoon. T…

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The last spike was driven in the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad’s western expansion west of Garrison. Roadmaster George Nic…

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An American Fur Co. clerk provided the first lasting description of Old Faithful. Warren Angus Ferris wrote: “From the surface of a rocky plai…

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Riders from Gold Creek and Deer Lodge marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of post offices in the two towns by carrying the mail Pony …

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President William Taft signed a proclamation opening the Flathead, Coeur d’Alene and Spokane reservations to non-Indian settlement. The tribes…

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Pvt. Henry Schauer of Scobey gunned down 13 German soldiers who’d attacked his patrol as Allied forces advanced on Cisterna di Littoria, Italy…

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Henry Plummer was elected sheriff of Bannack, two days before a fabulously rich gold discovery 70 miles away in Alder Gulch. The strike would …

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Capt. William Clark climbed a hill above the Missouri River northeast of Lewistown and saw in the distance what he believed to be the snowcapp…

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Bill Fairweather and Henry Edgar found gold on a creek in eastern Idaho Territory, launching one of the richest placer mining strikes in world…

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Charles Dickens Jr. read passages from his father’s “Pickwick Papers” in Helena. He was in Bozeman the next day and saw a two-headed calf. Bie…

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Lewis and Clark, near the mouth of the Judith River, reported seeing a football washed up by high water on the Missouri. Lewis wrote that he’d…

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James J. Hill, father of the Great Northern Railway, died at his home in St. Paul, Minnesota. News accounts said Hill’s age of 77 was a handic…

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Gov. J. E. Rickards lay the cornerstone to the State Soldier’s Home in Columbia Falls on Memorial Day. Locals donated $3,100 and a subsidiary …

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Maj. Marcus Reno was granted an honorable discharge from the Army, 87 years after his death in 1889. Reno had been dishonorably discharged in …

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The Anaconda Company announced it had quit the newspaper business in Montana. The company, one of the largest producers of non-ferrous metals …

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The Anaconda Mining Company’s first smokestack in Great Falls was blown up. Built in 1891, it had been dwarfed since 1908 by the immense 506-f…

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The Montana Post reported six camels had arrived in Virginia City from Arizona. Able to carry four times as much as a mule, they were brought …

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The Army auctioned off the abandoned Fort Logan. Established in 1869 as Camp Baker to protect Diamond City miners, the post was moved and late…

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Congress passes an act ordering President Ulysses Grant to provide for the removal of the Flathead (Salish) and other Indians from the Bitterr…

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The first log was sawed at the Bonner mill, launching operations at what soon became the largest lumber operation between St. Paul, Minnesota,…

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The Josephine, under legendary steamboat captain Grant Marsh, reached the highest navigable point on the Yellowstone River. The spot was long …

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Two of Montana’s worst disasters occured 47 years apart. In 1917 fire broke out at the Granite Mountain mine in Butte, killing at least 163 in…

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Dr. G.G. Bissell of Connecticut was elected first judge of a miner’s court in Montana. Gold had been discovered in Alder Gulch two weeks earli…

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A cable broke and the new Thompson Falls ferry carrying 11 men and 13 pack horses was swept over the falls 300 yards below. Initially it was f…

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Jeannette Rankin was born near Missoula to rancher/carpenter John Rankin and schoolteacher Olive Pickering Rankin. Rankin, who became a suffra…

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John J. Audubon reached Fort Union near the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers aboard the steamboat Omega, amid an exchange of …

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Capt. Meriwether Lewis gazed for the first time on the “majestically grand senery” of the long-sought Great Falls of the Missouri. Walking in …

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Lightning sparked a fire in the Storm Creek area north of Cooke City, launching a devastating fire season in and around Yellowstone National P…

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The United States and Great Britain signed the Oregon Treaty, establishing the 49th parallel as the boundary line between the U.S. and Canada …

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George Hammond and John Christie robbed the Northern Pacific’s North Coast Limited near Bearmouth and made off with $65,000 in diamonds, silve…

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Gen. George Crook’s troops drove off Crazy Horse’s attacking Lakota and Cheyenne at the Battle of the Rosebud before retreating to Wyoming. Cr…

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Sir Charles Arthur Mander of London dedicated Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park at the Montana-Alberta border. Mander, president of Ro…

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Legendary mountain pilot W. Penn Stohr of Plains and copilot, Robert Vallance of Hamilton died when their Ford Tri-Motor crashed in the Elkhor…

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A man and a baby drowned and barns, granaries, houses and a bridge were swept away before an unprecedented downpour tapered off in McCone Coun…

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John Weisner, astronomer and meteorologist for Lt. John Mullan, recorded the first naked-eye observation of the Great Comet of 1860. He said J…

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Sidney Edgerton, on his way back to Bannack from Washington, D.C., was appointed Montana's first territorial governor by President Abraham Lin…

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A year after becoming one of the first steamboats to reach Fort Benton, the “Chippewa” was destroyed by fire near the mouth of the Poplar Rive…

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A Georgian named John Bozeman arrived at Gold Creek from Pike’s Peak in Colorado in a party of 16 men. Bozeman joined the stampede to Bannack …

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Sioux, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho wiped out George Custer and five companies of the 7th Cavalry at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Some 2…

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Secretary of the Interior James Garfield, son of the late president, presided over a drawing to determine the order of preference in land sele…

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A vigilante posse organized by cattleman Granville Stuart and nicknamed “Stuart’s Stranglers” overpowered a guard at a camp on the Judith Rive…

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John Dillingham, a deputy of Sheriff Henry Plummer’s, was gunned down on a street in Virginia City by three of Plummer’s alleged road agents –…

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Granville Stuart found the ranch site he’d ridden hundreds of miles looking for, in the shadow of the Judith Mountains east of Lewistown. Ther…

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Fort Shaw was established by Maj. William Clinton on the south bank of the Sun River as an Army infantry post. Named Camp Reynolds for the fir…

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Gen. Thomas F. Meagher, acting governor of Montana Territory, disappeared from a steamboat deck at Fort Benton at about 11 p.m. His body was n…

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The Chippewa and the Key West became the first steamboats to dock at Fort Benton, the head of navigation on the Missouri River. The sidewheele…

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Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid are among five bandits to rob a Great Northern train of $65,000 at Wagner, west of Malta. It was their last…

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Jack Dempsey defended his world heavyweight boxing championship with a 15-round decision over Tom Gibbons in Shelby. It was Montana’s first an…

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Thermometers in Medicine Lake reached 117 degrees, equalling the hottest day on record in Montana. It was also 117 in Glendive on July 20, 189…

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Lewistown’s first circus came to town. Some 5,000 people jammed into the Big Top of the Norris and Rowe Circus to see wild beasts, 10 reckless…

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William A. Clark, 24, arrived in Bannack from Colorado and went to work at a placer mine in gulch above Horse Prairie Creek. He got into the f…

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Vigilantes nicknamed “Stuart’s Stranglers” raided a camp of suspected cattle thieves on the Missouri River at Bates Point, 15 miles below the …

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Congress passed an act forbidding the importation of liquor into Indian Country, including Montana. It began what one historian called “the cr…

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The first court session in Deer Lodge County was held at Silver Bow City, west of present-day Butte. Thirty-four indictments were handed down …

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The first passenger train ran from Helena to Butte. It left Helena at 7 a.m. with 50 guests on board, including Montana Central president C.A.…

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Rufus Robinson and Earl Cooley became the first two U.S. Forest Service smokejumpers to parachute onto a forest fire, in the Nez Perce Forest …

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Green Clay Smith of Kentucky, a U.S. congressman and major general for the Union in the recent Civil War, was commissioned as the second gover…

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Four down-and-out prospectors struck rich deposits of gold where Helena stands today. Nicknamed the Four Georgians, only one of the group, Joh…

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The spectacular Going-to-the-Sun Highway in Glacier National Park was dedicated in the depths of the Great Depression after 12 years and $1.25…

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The Treaty of Hellgate was signed west of Missoula between Indian commissioner Isaac Stevens and three area tribes – the Bitterroot Salish, Pe…

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Henry Warren of Illinois was appointed the second chief justice of the Territorial Supreme Court, succeeding Hezekiah Hosmer. Warren’s court w…

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Sitting Bull and some 200 Hunkpapa Sioux surrendered at Fort Buford, near the mouth of the Yellowstone River. They’d fled to Canada after thei…

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Ed Trafton robbed 15 tour coaches in one day at Shoshone Point in Yellowstone National Park. Trafton brashly posed for photographs but made of…

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An aging John Stevens was on hand as his grandson unveiled a bronze statue of him at the summit of Marias Pass. The principal engineer of the …

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The paddlewheeler Chippewa ran aground near the mouth of the Marias River, less than 15 miles from its destination of Fort Benton. It was the …

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Bill Rigney, a Miles City tough, was taken from the local jail and hanged from a railroad trestle shortly after midnight. He was jailed for ba…

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The Big Blackfoot Company’s flour mill in Bonner was destroyed by fire. A strong west wind whipped sparks from a nearby tepee burner onto the …

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A trip of nearly 2,000 miles ended in St. Louis for the 20 black soldiers of the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps from Fort Missoula. The last leg …

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An amendment to restrict the right to vote to only those able to read and write in English was defeated 52-11 at the contentious state Constit…

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Pierre Menard returned to St. Louis after an abbreviated fur trapping expedition to Montana. A brother-in-law to Pierre Choteau, Menard led a …

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Two young Piegan Blackfeet, including 13-year-old Calf Looking, died at the hands of Capt. Meriwether Lewis and three others on the Two Medici…

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John White and William Eades, Pikes Peakers fresh from the played-out diggings in Colorado, found gold on Grasshopper Creek in southwestern Mo…

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Oglala Sioux war chief Red Cloud watched from a distance as U.S. soldiers packed up and left Fort C.F. Smith, beginning the abandonment of mil…

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Inmates at the state prison in Deer Lodge agreed to release five guards they held as hostages and return to their cells after a nine-hour revo…

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Bishop John Brondel said the first Mass at St. Ignatius Mission’s majestic gothic-style brick church. It took place on the feast of St. Ignati…

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Labor organizer Frank Little was taken forcibly from his boarding house in Butte in the wee hours of the morning and lynched from a railroad t…

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The Montana Standard reported that Butte was getting its own television station. KOPR-TV would begin broadcasting from studios at the Finlen H…

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Capt. William Clark and 12 others reached the mouth of the Yellowstone River on their return from the Pacific. The plan was to meet Capt. Meri…

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Lt. Col. George Custer and some 90 soldiers on a railroad survey barely avoided a fatal ambush on the Yellowstone River opposite present-day M…

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What’s now western Montana became sole possession of the United States when President James Polk signed the Oregon Treaty. The treaty stated t…

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A 600-pound stone of granite was loaded onto a rail car in Helena to ship east as Montana’s contribution to the Washington Monument. The rock …

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The first Northern Pacific train to cross the main range of the Rocky Mountains passed over Mullan Pass northwest of Helena, the highest point…

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Chief Arlee of the Flathead Nation died at his ranch near the western Montana town that bears his name. He was 74. Arlee’s deathbed was surrou…

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The Battle of the Big Hole began when Col. John Gibbon launched a surprise early morning attack on a camp of roughly 700 Nez Perce west of Wis…

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Fort Union was formally abandoned, and an American West institution slipped into history. The American Fur Co. post was established in 1828 an…

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So-called railroad dynamiter Isaac Gravelle is on trial in Helena for robbing the Holter Hardware powder house when, after lunch, he places hi…

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Capt. Meriwether Lewis and three others became the first white men to cross the Continental Divide when they traversed Lemhi Pass in the Bitte…

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The Montana State Board of Entomology, under the direction of Robert Cooley, began research on a tick-eradication program. Ticks were shown th…

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Montana’s first commercial television station went on the air.

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Mike Mansfield of Montana surpassed the record for service as a leader in the U.S. Senate. Elected Democratic leader in 1961, Mansfield’s 13 y…

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The Northern Pacific’s first passenger train over the main range of the Rockies at Mullan Pass carried famed lecturer the Rev. Henry Ward Beec…

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Montana’s third state constitutional convention, and its first successful one, adopted a document and adjourned after 45 days. Earlier such co…

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Longtime Montana trader Malcolm Clarke was killed by a party of young Blackfeet, including his wife’s brother-in-law, Owl-Child, who believed …

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President Ulysses Grant signed an executive order removing all land south of the Marias River from the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. An order …

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Hundreds of fires burning in the Bitterroot Mountains merged to form the largest fire in U.S. history. Whipped by hurricane-force winds, the f…

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Gen. William Sherman, commander of the U.S. Army, arrived in Helena on an inspection tour of Western forts. Sherman stayed in town nine days a…

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A nine-mile gap was closed and the last rails of the transcontinental Northern Pacific Railway were laid at Independence Creek, east of Gold C…

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Harry Roberts became the last man to be legally executed by Montana Territory. The Welsh-born Roberts, a wagonmaster in Butte, was convicted o…

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The Rev. William Thomas, his 8-year-old son Charles and driver Joe Schultz were killed when Sioux attacked their lone wagon west of Big Timber…

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The world-famous white buffalo Big Medicine died in an exhibition pasture at the National Bison Range near Moiese. He was 26 years old. Big Me…

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C.W. Spillman, horse thief, was executed at Gold Creek in the first hanging in what became Montana. He and two others had recently arrived fro…

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Ted Kennedy rode a bareback bronc at the Eastern Montana Fair in Miles City while on the presidential campaign trail for his brother, John. Te…

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An alleged 6,000 Assiniboine and Cree attacked a small band of Piegan traders outside Fort McKenzie on the Missouri River. Superintendent Davi…

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The first passenger train ran from Deer Lodge to Garrison, connecting the Utah and Northern with the newly completed Northern Pacific. The two…

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Gov. Samuel Stewart proclaimed the new county of Daniels in northeastern Montana. Formed from the western section of Sheridan County, Daniels …

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Montana National Guard troops arrived by train in Butte to quell disturbances that had inflamed the Mining City all summer. Miners had attacke…

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The northern railroad survey under the command of Isaac Stevens was greeted with a 15-gun salute as it reached Fort Benton on its journey from…

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The stagecoach era in Montana drew closer to an end when the last coach made its run between Helena and Deer Lodge. William Lammereaux drove t…

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A new channel deemed “straight as a canal” was completed below the mouth of Rock Creek, and shortly before noon the Hellgate (Clark Fork) Rive…

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The Lewis and Clark party encountered some 400 Flathead Indians in the upper Bitterroot Valley near Sula. In a crucial moment for an expeditio…

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Suspected road agent Jem Kelly was tried and hanged by Montana vigilantes at the Snake River crossing in eastern Idaho. Kelly was found hiding…

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Builders of James Hill’s Manitoba Railroad – later to be known as the Great Northern – reached Havre in their headlong rush across the norther…

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Col. Charles Lindbergh flew from Helena to Butte via Billings and Yellowstone Park in The Spirit of St. Louis. In Billings, he circled the bus…

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Henry Villard’s long-awaited ceremony marking the completion of the Northern Pacific Railroad took place at Independence Creek on the Clark Fo…

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Truman C. Everts, former U.S. Assessor for Montana Territory, became separated in what in two years would become Yellowstone National Park. Ev…

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A burning cross atop a butte west of Laurel hailed a resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in Montana. Nearly 2,500 people were said to be on the but…

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Three hundred people jammed into a meeting hall at Willard School as Missoula marked the formal opening of the University of Montana. The scho…

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced its approval of the controversial Colstrip 3 and 4 power plants in southeastern Montana aft…

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Warriors of Chief Joseph’s fleeing Nez Perce held off an attack by Col. Samuel Sturgis and 350 soldiers at Canyon Creek. Three soldiers died a…

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Canadian fur trader Francois-Antoine LaRocque reached Pompey’s Pillar on the Yellowstone River more than 10 months before William Clark of the…

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Classes opened at what would become Montana State University in Bozeman. President A.M. Ryon and a faculty of six started instruction at the C…

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Montana’s Mike Mansfield served his last day in the U.S. Senate after a 24-year tenure. He was leaving the 94th Congress early to visit China …

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President Woodrow Wilson signed into existence the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation. The smallest of Montana’s seven reservations and last to be…

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At 5 p.m. the last remnant of the Anaconda Co. smokestack in Black Eagle near Great Falls was demolished with 400 pounds of explosives. The 50…

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Montana’s first Christian services were held on the West Fork of the Bitterroot. Rev. Samuel Parker, a Presbyterian missionary, was ill but as…

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John Christie pleaded guilty in Philipsburg to holding up a Northern Pacific train near Bearmouth in June and making off with more than $50,00…

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A section of the Fort Peck Dam gave way, killing eight construction workers. The victims were working in a core pool at the east abutment when…

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Maggie Smith Hathaway of Helena, one of the first two women elected to the Montana Legislature in 1917, was attacked and beaten by a robber at…

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Father Pierre Jean DeSmet arrived in the Bitterroot Valley to establish the first Catholic mission in Montana. DeSmet, Fathers Gregory Mengari…

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A train collision in a blinding snowstorm west of Billings killed 21 people. A freight train stopped after failing to make it to a siding near…

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President John F. Kennedy addressed an estimated 20,000 people at Memorial Stadium in Great Falls. JFK spoke of the Northwest’s attractions an…

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James Whitlatch found the Union Lode, the first quartz gold discovery in the Helena area. Placer gold had been discovered in Last Chance Gulch…

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Capt. James Liberty Fisk and his second expedition from Minnesota arrived at Bannack in a blizzard. They fired a small howitzer as they approa…

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Fort Benton celebrated the arrival of James Hill’s Manitoba Railroad, later known as the Great Northern. Hill himself was greeted with parades…

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Soldiers from Fort Keogh under Col. Nelson Miles attacked the fleeing Nez Perce under Chief Joseph near the Bear Paw Mountains south of Chinoo…

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Montana voters approved a new constitution by a vote of 24,600 to 2,300 en route to admission into the Union as a state the following month. T…

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Father Anthony Ravalli died at St. Mary’s Mission in present-day Stevensville, nearly 40 years after he first arrived in the Bitterroot Valley…

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The cornerstone to a monument for Thomas Francis Meagher, the Irish revolutionary and Civil War general who was twice named acting governor of…

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Capts. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and the Corps of Discovery began their journey down the Clearwater River in craft constructed at Can…

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The famed XIT cattle ranch threw a farewell barbecue, signaling the end of the Texas outfit’s 20-year operation in Montana. O.C. Cato, range m…

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The Butte High football team shut out the Montana State College Aggies 5-0 in a practice game in Bozeman. A crowd of 700 watch as Freebourne o…

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James and Granville Stuart crossed Monida Pass and entered present-day Montana for the first time. They’d left the California gold fields in J…

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President Abraham Lincoln appointed Gad Upson as agent of the Blackfeet Reservation. Upson “knew as much about Indians as I did about the inha…

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David Thompson lay eyes for the first time on the prairie on the Clark Fork River that would become Thompson Falls. Working for the North West…

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Mother Mary of the Infant Jesus and three other Sisters of Providence arrived at Frenchtown, the first white settlement they’d seen since leav…

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Chief Charlo and some 160 Salish men, women and children broke camp in John Maclay’s pasture south of Lolo and passed through downtown Missoul…

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Gov. J. Hugo Aronson and Alberta Premier E.C. Manning dedicated the new Port of Del Bonita. Aronson predicted the improved 32-mile stretch of …

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A line of steam-propelled street cars went into operation in Helena. The motor car “Prospector” pulled two others on a trial run from a downto…

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The first face-to-face negotiations between Sitting Bull and federal troops following the Battle of the Little Bighorn broke down. It resulted…

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The first telegraph dispatch to Montana Territory came from Edward Creighton in Salt Lake City. "Citizens of Montana – Allow me to greet you; …

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"I will go – I and my children." His people impoverished and near starvation, Chief Charlo told government agent Henry C. Carrington he would …

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A stomach hemorrhage brought on by cirrhosis of the liver claimed former Montana copper king F. Augustus Heinze in Saratoga, New York. Heinze,…

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Maj. John Owen purchased St. Mary’s Mission in the Bitterroot from Jesuit priests for $250. It was the first real estate transaction in what w…

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Helena won a close, bitter struggle over Anaconda for the Montana state capital. Marcus Daly, who founded Anaconda, and William A. Clark, who …

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After making an anonymous call to the Missoulian on election night, Jeannette Rankin went to bed thinking she’d lost in her bid for a Montana …

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At 10:45 a.m. in Washington, D.C., President Benjamin Harrison signed a document proclaiming Montana the 41st state in the Union. Three hours …