Montana in History

Historical Events

  • 1864-05-26 Territory of Montana formed
  • 1864-07-14 Gold is discovered in Helena, Montana
  • 1864-10-30 Helena, Montana's capital, founded
  • 1867-06-15 Atlantic Cable Quartz Lode gold mine located in Montana.
  • 1870-01-23 173 Blackfoot (140 women & children) killed in Montana by US Army

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1873-08-04 Indian Wars: whilst protecting a railroad survey party in Montana, US 7th Cavalry, under Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer, clashes for the 1st time with the Sioux near the Tongue River. 1 man killed on each side.

  • 1874-05-12 US Assay Office in Helena, Montana, authorized

BattleBattle of Interest

1877-01-08 Crazy Horse and his warriors fight their last battle with the United States Cavalry at Wolf Mountain (Montana Territory).

Native American War Leader Crazy Horse
Native American War Leader
Crazy Horse
  • 1877-01-15 US Assay Office in Helena, Montana opens
  • 1887-01-28 In a snowstorm at Fort Keogh, Montana, the world's largest snowflakes are reported, being 15 inches (38 cm) wide and 8 inches (20 cm) thick.
  • 1889-02-22 US President Cleveland signs bill to admit Dakotas, Montana & Washington state to the union
  • 1889-11-08 Montana admitted as 41st state of the Union
  • 1899-02-11 -61°F, Montana (record low temperature)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1901-07-02 Butch Cassidy & Sundance Kid rob train of $40,000 at Wagner, Montana

  • 1910-05-11 Montana's Glacier National Park forms
  • 1921-06-20 11.5" (29.2 cm) of rainfall, Circle, Montana (state record)
  • 1923-03-05 Montana & Nevada become 1st states to enact old age pension laws
  • 1924-11-01 Forest Peters of Montana State U hits 17 of 22 attempted field goals
  • 1937-07-05 117°F (47°C), Medicine Lake, Montana (state record)
  • 1938-06-19 "Olympian Flyer" express train crashes in Montana, killing 47
  • 1943-02-27 The Smith Mine #3 in Bearcreek, Montana, explodes, killing 74 men.
  • 1954-01-20 -70°F (-57°C), Rogers Pass, Montana (US 48 state record)
  • 1959-07-17 River Canyon extending man-made Lake Hebgen by 5 miles. (Montana)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1975-08-08 Hank Williams Jr. falls off the side of Ajax Peak in Montana

Country Music Singer and Songwriter Hank Williams Jr
Country Music Singer and Songwriter
Hank Williams Jr
  • 1984-04-27 Over 70 inches of snow falls on Red Lake Montana
  • 1992-12-01 2 C-141B Starlifters collide in Montana & crash, 13 die
  • 1996-06-13 Freeman in Montana give up to FBI after 81 days
  • 1996-06-13 The Montana Freemen surrender after an 81-day standoff with FBI agents.

Famous Birthdays


Person of interestPerson of Interest

1859-06-12 Thomas J. Walsh, United States Senator (Montana), born in Two Rivers, Wisconsin

Lawyer and Politician Thomas J. Walsh
Lawyer and Politician
Thomas J. Walsh

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1880-06-11 Jeannette Rankin, 1st woman elected to US Congress (R-Montana), born in Missoula, Montana (d. 1973)

1st Woman Elected to Congress Jeannette Rankin
1st Woman Elected to Congress
Jeannette Rankin
  • 1890-01-11 Monte Blue, American silent film actor (Montana, Oh Boy), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1963)
  • 1892-04-04 Esther Howard, actress, born in Helena, Montana (d. 1965)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1901-05-07 Gary Cooper, American actor (Sgt York, High Noon), born in Helena, Montana (d. 1961)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1905-08-02 Myrna Loy, American actress (Jazz Singer, Thin Man, Vanity Fair), born in Helena, Montana (d. 1993)

Actress Myrna Loy
Actress
Myrna Loy
  • 1913-10-27 Joseph Medicine Crow, Native American chief and historian, born near Lodge Grass, Montana (d. 2013)
  • 1919-08-30 Maurice R. Hilleman, Miles City Montana, American Microbiologist who developed over 36 vaccines including measles, mumps, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, chickenpox, meningitis, pneumonia
  • 1926-01-21 Steve Reeves, Glasgow Montana, actor (Hercules, Hercules Unchained)
  • 1926-08-14 Alice Ghostley, Eve Montana, actress (Bewitched, Designing Women)
  • 1935-01-25 Conrad Burns, US politician (Senate-R-Montana 1989-2007), born in Gallatin, Missouri (d. 2016)
  • 1937-10-30 Pat Williams, (Rep-D-Montana, 1979- )

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1938-10-17 Robert "Evel" Knievel, American motorcycle daredevil (Snake River Canyon), born in Butte, Montana (d. 2007)

Motorcycle Daredevil Evel Knievel
Motorcycle Daredevil
Evel Knievel
  • 1941-05-17 Malcolm Hale, musician (Spanky and Our Gang), born in Butte, Montana (d. 1968)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1945-09-17 Phil Jackson, American basketball player and coach (Knicks/Bulls/Lakers), born in Deer Lodge, Montana

  • 1946-01-20 David Lynch, Missoula Montana, actor/director (Dune, Eraserhead)
  • 1948-03-30 Justin Deas, actor (As The World Turns, Santa Barbara), born in Connellsville, Pennsylvania
  • 1955-09-04 Brian Schweitzer, American politician, governor of Montana
  • 1959-05-06 Scott Hood, Canadian Tour golfer (1989 Montana Open-2nd), born in Seattle, Washington
  • 1963-08-02 Jeff Bloom, Canadian Tour golfer (1988 Montana Open), born in Seattle, Washington
  • 1964-05-06 Mike Grob, Billings Montana, Canadian Tour golfer (1988 Manitoba-3rd)
  • 1965-03-04 Stacy Edwards, actress (Santa Barbara), born in Glasgow, Montana
  • 1969-02-22 Leslie Spalding, Billings MT, golfer (Montana Women's Amat-90, 91)
  • 1971-10-18 Karen J McNenny, Missoula Montana, Miss Montana-America (1991)
  • 1972-02-22 Christin Didier, Miss USA-Montana (1997)
  • 1972-09-15 Amanda Lynn Granrud, Miss America-Montana (1996), born in Great Falls, Montana
  • 1974-01-15 Aubrey Jo Hiller, Missoula Montana, Miss America-Montana (1997)
  • 1974-06-11 Tanya Pogatchnik, Miss Montana USA (1996)
  • 1978-04-13 Grace Murray Tubbs, Miss Montana Teen USA (1996)
  • 1979-10-14 Coty Strickler, Miss Montana Teen USA (1997)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1980-09-09 Michelle Williams, American actress (Dawson's Creek), born in Kalispell, Montana


Famous Weddings


HeartWedding of Interest

1990-07-01 Country singer-songwriter Hank Williams Jr (41) weds model Mary Jane Thomas at a Congregational church near his ranch in Missoula, Montana

Country Music Singer and Songwriter Hank Williams Jr
Country Music Singer and Songwriter
Hank Williams Jr
  • 2004-07-04 Actor Dennis Quaid (50) weds real estate agent Kimberly Buffington (32) at his 500-acre Montana ranch in Paradise Valley, Montana
  • 2008-07-26 Actress Jennifer Siebel (34) weds San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (40) at her parents horse ranch in Stevensville, Montana

HeartWedding of Interest

2009-03-19 Talk show host David Letterman (61) weds longtime girlfriend Regina Lasko (48) at a civil ceremony in Choteau, Montana

Comedian and Television Host David Letterman
Comedian and Television Host
David Letterman
  • 2013-08-31 "Blue Crush" actress Kate Bosworth (30) weds director Michael Polish (42) in Philipsburg, Montana

HeartWedding of Interest

2014-10-01 Actress Scarlett Johansson (30) weds advertising agency owner Romain Dauriac in Philipsburg, Montana


Famous Deaths


Person of interestPerson of Interest

1933-03-02 Thomas J. Walsh, United States Senator (Montana), dies of a heart attack at 73

Lawyer and Politician Thomas J. Walsh
Lawyer and Politician
Thomas J. Walsh
  • 1961-03-23 James Edward Murray, (Sen-D-Montana) (1935-61), dies
  • 2016-04-28 Conrad Burns, US politician (Senate-R-Montana 1989-2007), dies at 81