Line Callout 4: 1953 Montanas first television station broadcasts from Butte (Chapter 20) 
1953 Hungry Horse Dam completed (Chapter 20)
Line Callout 4: 1805 Francois Larocque explores southeastern Montana (Chapter 4)
Line Callout 3: 1809 St. Louis Missouri Fur Company formed (Chapter 5)
Line Callout 4: 1968 Congress passes Indian Civil Rights Act (Chapter 22)
Line Callout 4: 1966 Large-scale strip mining begins at Colstrip (Chapter 21)
Line Callout 3: 1965 Yellowtail Dam completed (Chapter 20)
Line Callout 4: 1964 Congress passes the Wilderness Act (Chapter 21)
1964 U.S. Supreme Court rules on reapportionment (Chapter 21)
Line Callout 4: 1961 Air Force begins construction of Montana ICBM silos (Chapter 20)
Line Callout 4: 1959 Anaconda Company sells its newspapers (Chapter 20)
Line Callout 4: 1943 Smith Mine disaster (Chapter 19)
Line Callout 3: 1915 Nonpartisan League founded (Chapter 15)
Line Callout 4: 1917 Industrial Workers of the World timber strike shuts down logging in the Pacific Northwest (Chapter 12)
1917 Drought Begins (Chapter 13) 
1917 Speculator Mine disaster kills 168 miners (Chapter 16)
                  Line Callout 3: 1776 United States declares independence from Great Britain
        Line Callout 4: 1891 Forest Reserve Act (Chapter 12) 
1891 Salish forced from the Bitterroot Valley (Chapter 7)
Line Callout 4: 1899 William A. Clark elected to U.S. Senate but resigns amid bribery scandal
Line Callout 4: 1895 Blackfeet cede land that becomes Glacier National Park (Chapter 11)
Line Callout 4: 1896 Assiniboine and Gros Ventre cede part of the Little Rocky Mountains (Chapter 11) 
1896 Height of the Populist movement
Line Callout 3: 1890 Census records list Montana's population as 142,924
Line Callout 3: 1807 Americans establish the first fur trading post in Montana (Chapter 5)
Line Callout 3: 1808 American Fur Company formed (Chapter 5)

 

      Line Callout 3: 1825 First fur trade rendezvous (Chapter 5) 
Line Callout 3: 1830's Montana fur traders turn to bison hunting (Chapter 5)
Line Callout 4: 1901 William A. Clark elected to U.S. Senate (Chapter 10)
1901 Montana miners win eight-hour workday (Chapter 10)
Line Callout 3: 1832 Steamboat Yellowstone reaches Fort Union (Chapter 5)
 

Line Callout 3: 1841 Father de Smet builds St. Mary's Mission (Chapter 5)

Line Callout 3: 1843 Settlers move west along the Oregon Trail
Line Callout 4: 1846 Fort Benton fur trading post established (Chapter 5)
Line Callout 4: 1848 California gold rush

Line Callout 3: 1850s Cattle ranching begins in western Montana (Chapter 8)
Line Callout 3: 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty (Chapter 7)
Line Callout 3: 1852 Beneetsee finds gold in the Deer Lodge Valley (Chapter 6)
Line Callout 3: 1855 Lame Bull Treaty (Chapter 7)
Line Callout 3: 1855 Hellgate Treaty (Chapter 7)
Line Callout 3: 1862 Montana gold rush begins (Chapter 6)
1862 Homestead Act passed (Chapter 13)
Line Callout 4: 1872 Yellowstone National Park established (Chapter 9)
Line Callout 3: 1860 First steamboat arrives in Fort Benton (Chapter 6)
Line Callout 3: 1864 Organic Act creates Montana Territory (Chapter 6)
Line Callout 3: 1866 - 1868 Red Cloud's War (Chapter 7)
Line Callout 4: 1869 First transcontinental railroad completed
Line Callout 4: 1868 Second Fort Laramie Treaty (Chapter 7)  
 
Line Callout 4: 1894 Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad enters Montana (Chapter 9)
1894 Voters choose Helena as state capital (Chapter 10)
Line Callout 3: 1870 Marias Massacre (Chapter 7)

Line Callout 4: 1863 Bozeman Trail opens (Chapter 6)
.

           Line Callout 4: 1887 Northern reservation reduced by 17 million acres (Chapter 11) 
1887 Dawes Act passes (Chapter 11)
1887 Great Northern Railway enters Montana (Chapter 9)
Line Callout 4: 1886-1887 Hard Winter (Chapter 8)
Line Callout 4: 1884 Montana Territory holds second constitutional convention (Chapter 10)
Line Callout 4: 1883-1884 Many members of the northern tribes die during Starvation Winter (Chapter 10)
Line Callout 4: 1883 Fewer than 200 bison remain on the Plains (Chapter 7)
1883 Northern Pacific Railroad completes transcontinental route
1883 Copper boom begins in Butte (Chapter 10)
Line Callout 4: 1881 Utah and Northern Railroad arrives in Butte (Chapter 9)
1881 Sitting Bull surrenders to the U.S Army (Chapter 11)
Line Callout 3: 1880 First train enters Montana territory (Chapter 9)
1880 Artist Charlie M. Russell arrives in Montana (Chapter 8)
Line Callout 4: 1878 Northern Cheyenne flight from Oklahoma to Montana (Chapter 7) 1878 Butte Workingmen's Union formed (Chapter 10)
Line Callout 4: 1874 Samuel Walking Coyote brings bison to the Flathead Reservation (Chapter 5)  1874 Silver boom begins in Montana (Chapter 6)
                          .
       
Line Callout 4: 1889 Montana becomes a state (Chapter 10) 
1889 Montana adopts secret ballot (Chapter 10)
Line Callout 4: 1893 Panic of l893 and collapse of the silver market (Chapter 10)
Line Callout 4: 1916 Rocky Boy's Reservation created for Chippewa-Cree (Chapter 15)
1916 Jeannette Rankin is elected to the U.S. Congress (Chapter 16)
1916 Montana passes Prohibition (Chapter 15)
Line Callout 4: 1906 Forest Homestead Act (Chapter 13)
1906 Montana adopts the initiative and the referendum (Chapter 15)
Line Callout 4: 1905 U.S. Forest Service created
Line Callout 4: 1904 Crow cede northern strip of reservation (Chapter 11)
Line Callout 4: 1903 Fair-trials bill passed (Chapter 10)
Line Callout 4: 1902 Montana state capitol building completed (Chapter 10) 
1902 Reclamation Act 
Line Callout 3: 1900 Marcus Daly dies (Chapter 10) 
1900 Montana's population is 243,329 (Chapter 13)
  Line Callout 4: 1908 Model T invented (Chapter 17)
Line Callout 4: 1907 Milwaukee Road enters Montana (Chapter 9, 13)
Line Callout 3: 1900 Census records list Montana's population as 243,329
Line Callout 4: 1914-1921 Troops occupy Butte six times in response to labor unrest (Chapter 16)
Line Callout 4: 1914 Montana women get the right to vote (Chapter 15)
1914 World War I Begins (Chapter 16)
Line Callout 4: 1912 Montana Power Company formed (Chapter 9)
Line Callout 3: 1910 Glacier National Park established (Chapter 9) 1910 Great Fire (Chapter 12)
1910 Census records list Montana's population as 376,053
Line Callout 4: 1909 Enlarged Homestead Act (Chapter 13)
1909 Missoula free speech fight (Chapter 15)
   

  Line Callout 4: 1939 World War II begins in Europe (Chapter 18)
             

              

             
  People have lived in Montana for over twelve thousand years. Thus, the history of Montana's people begins long before the earliest events recorded on this timeline.                  
Many important events occurred in Montana before 1800. Since we relied on the written record to create this timeline, however, the state's pre-1800 history is dramatically underrepresented.

 

     

 

 

                   Line Callout 3: 1863-1864 Vigilantes active in southwestern Montana
                 Line Callout 4: 1877 Nez Perce War (Chapter 7)
Line Callout 4: 1876-1877 Great Sioux War (Chapter 7)
   

         

                             Line Callout 4: 1924 Montanans pass initiative increasing tax on mines (Chapter 15) 
1924 Congress passes the Indian Citizenship Act (Chapter 15)
  Line Callout 3: 1940 Montana elects pacifist Jeannette Rankin to Congress again (Chapter 19)
1940 Census records list Montana's population as 559,456
Line Callout 4: 1937 Drought ends (Chapter 18)
Line Callout 4: 1944 Congress enacts the GI Bill (Chapter 19)
Line Callout 4: 1942 Airfields constructed near Great Falls, Lewistown, Cut Bank, and Glasgow (Chapter 19) 
1942 Food and gas rationing begin (Chapter 19)
Line Callout 4: 1941 Great Depression ends (Chapter 18) 
1941 United States enters World War II (Chapter 19)
        

Line Callout 3: 1960 Census records list Montana's population as 674,767

Line Callout 4: 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis (Chapter 20)
 

 

Line Callout 3: 2000 Census records list Montana's population as 902,195

 
                                Line Callout 4: 1803 Louisiana Purchase (Chapter 4)
     

         

              

 

                      

Line Callout 4: 1972 Montanans ratify new state constitution
Line Callout 4: 1866 First cattle drive from Texas into Montana (Chapter 8)
1866 Montana Territory holds first constitutional convention (Chapter 10) 
                           

                                                                              

                      Line Callout 4: 1936 Beartooth Highway opens (Chapter 17)
Line Callout 4: 1934-1940 Fort Peck Dam built (Chapter 18)
Line Callout 4: 1934 International Mine, Mill and Smelterworkers strike revitalizes Montana union movement (Chapter 18) 
1934 Congress passes the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA)
Line Callout 3: 1950 Great Falls replaces Butte as Montana's largest city (Chapter 20)
1950 Census records list Montana's population as 591,024
Line Callout 4: 1949 Thirteen Firefighters die in the Mann Gulch fire (Chapter 12)
Line Callout 4: 1947 Montana requires drivers to pass a driving test (Chapter 17)
Line Callout 4: 1945 World War II ends (Chapter 19)
                             Line Callout 4: 1956 Congress passes the Federal Highway Act (Chapter 20) 
    Line Callout 3: 1970 Several major railroads merge
1970 Census records list Montana's population as 694,409

Line Callout 4: 1973-1975 Montana passes landmark environmental laws (Chapter 21)

  Line Callout 3: 1990 Census records list Montana's population as 799,065 1990 Montana loses a congressperson (Chapter 22)

                            

 

Line Callout 3: 1804 - 1806 Lewis and Clark Expedition (Chapter 4)

Line Callout 3: 1828 Fort Union established (Chapter 5)
        

                                                                                                

  Line Callout 4: 1933 New Deal begins (Chapter 18) 
1933 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution repealed, ending Prohibition
Line Callout 3: 1932 Franklin Delano Roosevelt elected president
Line Callout 3: 1930 Drought returns (Chapter 18)
1930 Census records list Montana's population as 537,606
Line Callout 4: 1929 U.S. stock market crashes 
1929 Great Depression begins (Chapter 18)
Line Callout 4: 1928 Montana has 50 paved miles of highway (Chapter 17)
Line Callout 4: 1922 Kevin-Sunburst oil field discovered in north-central Montana (Chapter 14)
  Line Callout 4: 1919 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution establishes Prohibition
Line Callout 3: 1920 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives women the right to vote
1920 Montana's population is 548,889 (more than twice the population in 1900)
 
Line Callout 4: 1918 Montana Sedition Law passed (Chapter 16)
1918 World War I ends (Chapter 18) 
1918 Worldwide influenza epidemic (Chapter 16)

        

Line Callout 4: 1955 Open-pit mining begins in Butte (Chapter 20) 
      

                                      Line Callout 4: 1971 Chilean government takes possession of the Anaconda Company's biggest mine (Chapter 22)

Line Callout 4: 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War
1720 1725 1730 1735 1740 1745 1750 1755 1760 1765 1770 1775 1780 1785 1790 1795 1800 1805 1810 1815 1820 1825 1830 1835 1840 1845 1850 1855 1860 1865 1870 1875 1880 1885 1890 1895 1900 1905 1910 1915 1920 1925 1930 1935 1940 1945 1950 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010
 

1720-1760 Horses and guns reach Montana tribes (Chapter 3)

   

1720-1760 Horses and guns reach Montana tribes (Chapter 3)

 

17751782 Smallpox epidemics kill many Montana Indians (Chapter 3)

  1787-1827 David Thompson explores Canada and northwest Montana (Chapter 4)

17871827 David Thompson explores Canada and northwest Montana (Chapter 4)

18611865 Civil War

 

18741887 Indian reservations made smaller (Chapter 8)

1919-1925 Half of Montana farmers lose their land (Chapter 18)

19551975 Vietnam War (Chapter 20)

Line Callout 3: 18371840 Smallpox epidemics kill many Montana Indians (Chapter 5)
 Use the arrow keys to travel backwards and forward through time. Click on each decade for a
 list of events. Mouse over any image for a larger view and credit information.
      18801934 Indian boarding school era (Chapter 11) 18801934 Indian boarding school era (Chapter 11)

18801934 Indian boarding school era (Chapter 11)

 

19001917 Montana homestead boom (Chapter 13)

 

 All timeline entries are from Montana: Stories of the Land. Read the book to learn more! Place your mouse
 on the green header menu at the top of your screen. Drop down menus will appear to direct you to specific
 chapters. All images are from the Montana Historical Society collections unless otherwise noted.

19101925 Montanans create 28 new counties (Chapter 15)