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5 Fun Facts About April 24 In Montana History

---Learn Every Day: MT Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history mt To: 618-270-4005---

1. In 1862, the first stagecoach arrived in Virginia City, Montana Territory. This marked the beginning of a transportation revolution in Montana, as stagecoaches would eventually connect major towns and mining communities throughout the state.

2. In 1888, Helena celebrated the opening of its new opera house. The Grand Opera House, as it was called, was a magnificent building that featured ornate decorations, state-of-the-art acoustics, and a seating capacity of over 1,000. The opera house hosted many famous performers over the years, including Sarah Bernhardt, John Philip Sousa, and Enrico Caruso.

3. In 1890, the University of Montana was established in Missoula. Originally known as the Montana State University, the school grew rapidly over the years and is now a major research institution with over 12,000 students.

4. In 1915, the town of Red Lodge experienced a devastating fire that destroyed much of its downtown area. Over 100 buildings were destroyed in the blaze, which was caused by a wayward spark from a passing train. The town rallied together and quickly rebuilt, however, and today Red Lodge is a popular tourist destination.

5. In 1995, a major earthquake struck near the borders of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. The quake measured 6.1 on the Richter scale and caused significant damage in the town of Challis, Idaho. Although Montana was largely spared from the worst effects of the earthquake, it served as a reminder that even this relatively quiet state is not immune to natural disasters.
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