Celebrate Montana history with us! Your interest and love of Montana’s past energizes our work. With your help, more real stories of the past can be shared and more history is preserved for future generations. We invite you to enjoy, engage, explore, know, visit, and preserve Montana history by joining and supporting the Montana Historical Society.
Public Programs and Events at the Montana Historical Society
Saturday, February 8, Second Saturday at MHS
Sponsored by Intrepid Credit Union, Second Saturday at MHS features free admission all day long and drawings for door prizes. Free admission is also offered at the Original Governor’s Mansion, 304 N. Ewing, where tours begin on the hour at noon, 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 8, 1:30 p.m.
Todd Harwell, administrator for the State of Montana’s Public Health and Safety Division, will present “The Biggest Public Health Experiment Ever”: Montana’s Contribution to the Eradication of Polio in the United States. Polio crippled children for centuries before the cause was clearly identified and an extraordinary prevention strategy was developed. Harwell’s talk will review the history of polio and efforts to treat it before a vaccine was available and follow Montana’s use of the vaccine to eradicate the disease during the 1950s and 1960s.
Wednesday, February 19, 10:45 a.m.
Montana historian Ken Robison will present Breaking Racial Barriers: The Civil Rights Movement in Montana, from the new book Black Americans and the Civil Rights Movement in the West. In Montana, racial prejudice and discrimination were pervasive despite the relatively small number of African Americans living here. Discrimination began to crumble during World War II, due in part to the influx of black soldiers and the wartime environment. In the cities of Great Falls, Helena, and Missoula, white and black residents, including Alma Jacobs, Raymond Howard, James Dorsey, and Mike Mansfield, aided the movement to eradicate racial intolerance. Overall, Montana made "significant progress" over the postwar decades. Robison will present stories of the environment at the time, discuss African Americans’ experiences in each of the three communities, and highlight key individuals who helped advance civil rights in the Treasure State.
Thursday, February 27, 5:00–7:00 p.m.
Save the date for the grand opening of the Montana Historical Society’s newest temporary exhibit, Good Beer Here. Reception details are still brewing, but we know that this is one you won’t want to miss!
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