January 3


1496: Leonardo da Vinci unsuccessfully tested a flying machine.

1957: The Hamilton Watch Co. introduced the first electric wristwatch.

1959: Alaska became the 49th U.S. state.

1962: Pope John XXIII excommunicated Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

1983: Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano began erupting continuously and has not stopped to date.

2000: The last original daily Peanuts comic strip was published.


January 4

1999: Former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura was sworn in as governor of Minnesota. Iron Eyes Cody, a U.S. actor who portrayed Native Americans in movies and TV from the 1930s to the 1970s, died in Hollywood at age 94. (Three years earlier, The New Orleans Times-Picayune had reported that his parents were immigrants from Sicily and that he had no Native American ancestry.)


January 5

1889: The term “Hamburger steak” first appeared in the Walla Walla Union newspaper in Walla Walla, Wash.

1914: The Ford Motor Company announced an eight-hour workday and a minimum wage of $5 for a day’s labor.

1940: FM radio was demonstrated to the Federal Communications Commission for the first time.

January 6


Jimmy Carter (later president, 1976-1980) and 20 other people saw an unidentified flying object that hovered for 10 minutes over Leary, Georgia. Gov. Carter filed a detailed report of the sighting with the National Investigations Committee of Aerial Phenomena.

1800: 13th President Millard Fillmore was born in Cayuga County, New York. (Died 1874.)

1982: Faced with the rising price of copper, the U.S. Mint began issuing pennies made of copper-plated zinc.


January 7


1782: The first American commercial bank, the Bank of North America, opened in Philadelphia.

1797: The modern flag of Italy was flown for the first time, in Rome.

1927: The first transatlantic telephone service was established, between New York City and London, England.

1948: Kentucky Air National Guard pilot Thomas Mantell crashed while in pursuit of a purported UFO.

1980: U.S. President Jimmy Carter authorized legislation giving $1.5 billion in loans to bail out the Chrysler Corporation.


January 8


1790: George Washington delivered the first State of the Union address in New York, New York.

1815: Gen. Andrew Jackson (seventh president, 1829-1837) won the Battle of New Orleans against the British.

1835: The United States national debt was zero for the first and only time.

1889: Herman Hollerith was issued US patent #395,791 for the ‘Art of Applying Statistics,’ his punched card calculator.

1970: Actor George Ostroska dropped dead of a heart attack at the beginning of the second act while playing the lead in Macbeth in St. Paul, Minn. He was 32.

1994: Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov on Soyuz TM-18 left for Mir. He stayed on the space station until March 22, 1995, for a record 437 days in space.

2009: Jonathan Campos, an American sailor charged with murder, killed himself in his jail cell at Camp Pendleton, San Diego, Calif., by stuffing toilet paper into his mouth until he asphyxiated.


January 9

1349: The Jewish population of Basel, Switzerland, believed by the residents to be the cause of the ongoing Black Death, was rounded up and incinerated.

1788: Connecticut ratified the U.S. Constitution.

1839: The French Academy of Sciences announced the Daguerreotype photographic process.

1967: Born this day: rock musicians Dave Matthews (Dave Matthews Band), Carl Bell (Fuel) and Steve Harwell (Smash Mouth).

Historical Governor’s Home of Montana

Once the residence of Montana’s first governor, Sidney Edgerton,

appointed by President Abraham Lincoln on June 22, 1864.

“This picture was taken in March, 1908. The three men standing in front of the building are Bannack Pioneers. The gun held by the man on the right once belonged to the notorious Henry Plummer, sheriff and ‘Road Agent.’”
Photo courtesy of Montana Historical Society, Collection #940-707

American Red Cross workers prep care packages

An unidentified group of Red Cross workers inspect boxes destined for Christmas overseas shipments for troops during the First World War. Uniforms then consisted of a white coverall apron and a peaked coif worn low on the forehead.
Photo courtesy of
American Red Cross
of Montana

1967 Libby Little League Dodgers


The 1967 Little League Dodgers of Libby, along with Manager, Bill Hagerty, march down Mineral Avenue during the Mother’s Day parade that same year. “Managing Little League baseball teams was one of the highlights of my life,” shared Hagerty. “I was fortunate enough to manage local teams for 16 years.” The 1967 Libby Dodgers would place five boys on the All-Star team that year: Walt Mason, David Skatrud, David Christensen, Danny Pratt and Jay Pratt (just 11 years old at the time).     Photo Courtesy of Bill Hagerty