Category Archives: Montana History

Montana History Calendar 1930s

• January 29, 1933 – Amelia Earhart piloted a Ford Trimotor around the Helena Valley.

• July 15, 1933 – Going-to-the-Sun highway was dedicated.

• March 2, 1933 – Montana Senator Thomas Walsh died on his way to Washington D.C. to take an appointment as the U.S Attorney General.

• October 1933 – Construction began on Fort Peck Dam.

• 1934 – A four-and-a-half month long peaceful strike by the International Mine, Mill and Smelter workers revived union activity in the state.

• 1935 – The Montana Highway Patrol was formed.

• May 6, 1935 – President Roosevelt created the Works Progress Administration.

• October 1935 – A series of earthquakes killed four people and caused $4 million in damage to buildings, including Helena High School.

• December 15, 1935 – Bill Holt was named to replace Gov. Frank Cooney, who died in office.

• November 23, 1936 – Fort Peck Dam was the featured cover story of the first issue of LIFE magazine.

• Jan. 4, 1937 – Roy Ayers was sworn in as governor.

• June 12, 1937 – Two–and–one–half inches of rain and hail in one hour ruptured an irrigation canal and caused a major flood in downtown Billings. The Burlington railroad tracks washed out, and the Midland Empire fairgrounds suffered hail damage. The Billings Gazette called it “the greatest catastrophe in the city’s 54 year history.”


• January 10, 1938 – A Northwest Airlines flight crashed near Bozeman, killing 10.

• April 22, 1938 – The U.S. Government transferred Lewis and Clark Caverns to the state of Montana. The area would become the first state park in 1941.

• April 1938 – Kerr Dam near Polson became operational.

• June 19, 1938 – The Milwaukee Road “Olympian” derailed near Miles City, with 47 dead and 75 injured.

• Sept.22, 1938 – A major landslide at the Fort Peck Dam construction site killed 8 men.

• July 12, 1940 – Missoula smokejumpers Earl Cooley and Rufus Robinson made the first parachute jump on a fire.

• Sept. 11, 1940 – Fire destroyed the Northern Hotel and damaged 13 other Billings businesses.

• Sept. 16, 1940 – The National Guard was inducted into the Regular Army.

• Sept. 25, 1940 – Congress passed the first peacetime draft.

Learn more about Montana History Calender 1930s and the state’s history during the war years.

Montana's Home Front During World War II
Montana’s Home Front During World War II

Montana History Calendar 1941

Montana History Calendar 1942

Montana History Calendar 1943


Montana Arts Council Review of Historic Photos of Montana

Montana Arts Council: State of the Arts newspaper
July/August 2009

Review of Historic Photos of Montana
Text and captions by Gary Glynn
Turner Publishing Company, Nashville, TN
$39.95 hardcover

Fourth generation Montanan Gary Glynn has been writing about Montana for more than two decades. He is the author of Montana’s Home Front During World War II, numerous articles for both national and regional magazines and is a longtime contributor to the Missoulian newspaper.

In assembling the photographs for his book, Historic Photos of Montana, the author chose pictures to illustrate various aspects of history through “architecture, public spaces, commerce and infrastructure.”

Scenes of early settlements with crude structures and tents are mingled with handsome brick buildings and shots from downtown Missoula and Helena.
Assemblies of military troops, miners, loggers and school children pose for the cameras of notable photographers R.H. McKay and Stan Healy. Famed Native American photographic chronicler Edward S. Curtis is also represented in this work.

The preface to this book suggests that we learn from the past, and that photographs can be less subjective than an author’s words, leaving the observer to form his own untainted perspective of a scene.

Many of these original photographs reside in archival collections that are not easily accessed by the general public. With the assistance of the Mansfield Library at The University of Montana, the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula and the Library of Congress, Glynn has gleaned a treasure trove of images that illustrate the many faces and places of our state’s rich and colorful history. – Judy Shafter

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