Montana in History

Montana: Billings - Missoula

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
  • 1877-01-08 Crazy Horse and his warriors fight their last battle with the United States Cavalry at Wolf Mountain (Montana Territory).
  • 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 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, US silent film actor (Montana, Oh Boy), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1963)
  • 1892-04-04 Esther Howard, American 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
  • 1907-10-14 Pert Kelton, American actress (Cavalcade of Stars), born in Great Falls, Montana (d. 1968)
  • 1913-10-27 Joseph Medicine Crow, Native American chief and historian, born near Lodge Grass, Montana (d. 2013)
  • 1916-08-29 George Montgomery, American actor (Battle of Bulge, Hallucination), born in Brady, Montana (d. 2000)
  • 1917-10-23 Robert Bray, American actor (Corey-Lassie, Stagecoach West), born in Kalispell, Montana (d. 1983)
  • 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)
  • 1935-08-25 Lones Wigger, shooter (Oly-gold/silver-1964, 72), born in Great Falls, Montana
  • 1936-01-23 Jerry Kramer, American football player (Green Bay Packers) and author (Instant Replay), born in Jordan, Montana
  • 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)
  • 1945-03-01 Dirk Benedict, American actor (A-Team, Battlestar Galactica), born in Helena, Montana

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, actor and director (Dune, Eraserhead), born in Missoula, Montana
  • 1948-03-30 Justin Deas, actor (As The World Turns, Santa Barbara), born in Connellsville, Pennsylvania
  • 1952-08-21 Keith Hart, Canadian professional wrestler, born in Great Falls, Montana
  • 1955-09-04 Brian Schweitzer, American politician, governor of Montana
  • 1957-09-24 Brad Bird, American director (The Iron Giant, The Incredibles), born in Kalispell, Montana
  • 1958-07-31 Wallace Kurth, American actor (Days of Our Lives, General Hospital), born in Billings, Montana
  • 1959-05-06 Scott Hood, Canadian Tour golfer (1989 Montana Open-2nd), born in Seattle, Washington
  • 1959-08-22 Denise Curry, American basketball player (Olympic gold 1984), born in Fort Benton, Montana
  • 1963-08-02 Jeff Bloom, Canadian Tour golfer (1988 Montana Open), born in Seattle, Washington
  • 1964-05-06 Mike Grob, Canadian Tour golfer (1988 Manitoba-3rd), born in Billings, Montana
  • 1965-03-04 Stacy Edwards, actress (Santa Barbara), born in Glasgow, Montana
  • 1969-02-22 Leslie Spalding, golfer (Montana Women's Amat-90, 91), born in Billings, Montana
  • 1970-07-14 Missy Gold, actress (Katie-Benson), born in Great Falls, Montana
  • 1972-01-29 Scott Davis, figure skater (Olympics-1994), born in Great Falls, Montana
  • 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, Miss America-Montana (1997), born in Missoula, Montana

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