Montana Newspapers from World War I

Less than 5 percent of the Montana Historical Society’s extensive newspaper collection has been digitized. Two-thirds of the digitized newspapers are available at montananewspapers.org; the remainder can be found at chroniclingamerica.loc.gov. Of the 80 digitized titles, 21 include issues during the time that the United States was at war (April 6, 1917-November 11, 1918). Additional papers cover the beginning of the war (1914-1917). You can explore Montana newspapers’ coverage of the war several ways. 
 

1. Select a title from the list below and then select “browse issues by date.” Significant dates include the following:*

  • April 6, 1917: Declaration of War
  • April 24, 1917: First Liberty Loan issue
  • June 5, 1917: First Draft Registration Day
  • October 1, 1917: Second Liberty Loan issue 
  • February 5, 1918: Sinking of the SS Tuscania
  • February 22, 1918: Passage of the Montana Sedition Act
  • March 15, 1918: Council of Defense Order 1 (no parades without a permit)
  • April 5, 1918: Third Liberty Loan issue 
  • April 22, 1918: Council of Defense Order 3 (no German in schools or church)
  • May 28, 1918: Council of Defense Order 7 (right to conduct hearings on all matters pertaining to public safety)
  • June 1-26, 1918: Battle of Belleau Wood 
  • June 5, 1918: Second Draft Registration Day
  • July 18, 1918: Battle of Chateau Thierry
  • August 24, 1918: Third Draft Registration Day
  • September 28, 1918: Fourth Liberty Loan issue
  • September 26-November 11, 1918: Meuse-Argonne Offensive
  • November 11, 1918: Armistice
*News is often reported in the days following the event rather than on the day of the event itself. Liberty Loan drives typically lasted a month to six weeks.
 
2. Visit Montana Newspapers and/or Chronicling America and select “Advance Search.”
Select the title you are interested in (or search all Montana titles), select the relevant date range, and conduct a key word search (often most profitably done using the “within 5 words”  search box.) Experiment with search terms. Some possible search terms include
  • Red Cross
  • War garden
  • Liberty loan
  • War France
  • Council of Defense
  • Industrial Workers of the World
  • Jeannette Rankin
  • Huns
  • U-boat
  • Registration Day (or draft registration)
  • Letter soldier (or Letter France)
  • Martial law
  • Slacker/slackers
  • Agitators
  • Nonpartisan League
  • Teddy Roosevelt
  • Food conservation
  • War recipes
  • sedition

List of Newspapers with digitized issues for April 6, 1917-November 11, 1918

Baker Fallon County Times (from 5/25/1916 to 12/25/2009)

Baker Sentinel (from 1/1/1914 to 7/30/1925)

Big Sandy Bear Paw Mountaineer (from 3/2/1911 to 12/29/1921)

Big Timber Pioneer (from 1893-01-05 to 3/5/1975)

Butte Daily Post (from 1/1/1917 to 12/31/1917)

Choteau Acantha (from 3/24/1904 to 12/29/2010)

Choteau Montanan (from 7/4/1913 to 12/19/1924)

Columbia Falls Columbian (from 1/21/1905 to 2/25/1925)

Dillon Examiner (from 1/24/1893 to 12/25/1957)

Dillon Monmal (from 12/1/1906 to 5/1/1918)

Dillon Tribune (from 12/23/1887 to 7/31/1941)

Fort Benton River Press (from 1/6/1915 to 12/31/1958)

Glasgow Courier (from 1/1/1915 to 12/29/1922)

Great Falls Montana Leader (from 9/14/1918 to 10/12/1918)

Great Falls Montana Nonpartisan (from 10/19/1918 to 12/20/1919)

Helena Prospector (from 11/1/1916 to 4/30/2015)

Inverness News (from 9/7/1918 to 9/7/1918)

Missoula Daily Missoulian (from 1/1/1909 to 4/30/1918)

Plains Sanders County Signal (from 1/23/1906 to 10/9/1924)

Plentywood Producers News (from 4/26/1918 to 12/29/1922)

Polson Flathead Courier (from 4/14/1910 to 10/30/1980)

Roundup Record (from 1/2/1914 to 12/26/1919)

Saco Independent (from 5/24/1912 to 12/27/1922)

Thompson Falls Sanders County Independent-Ledger (from 1/17/1918 to 12/26/1918)

Thompson Falls Sanders County Ledger (from 2/24/1905 to 1/10/1918)