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5 Fun Facts About February 15 In Montana History

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

1. On February 15, 1870, the Montana Territorial Legislature officially established the University of Montana in Missoula. This university has since become one of the most prominent educational institutions in the state, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in a wide variety of fields.

2. In 1933, Montana Governor Frank Henry Cooney signed a bill legalizing pari-mutuel betting on horse racing in the state. This move helped to revitalize the struggling racing industry in Montana and paved the way for other forms of legalized gambling in the decades that followed.

3. On February 15, 1946, the Montana House of Representatives passed a resolution asking the federal government to provide funding for the construction of two hydroelectric dams on the Missouri River. These dams, known as Fort Peck and Fort Randall, were eventually built and have since played a critical role in providing power and irrigation to the region.

4. In 1983, Montana Governor Ted Schwinden signed a bill that raised the state's drinking age from 19 to 21. This move was in response to federal legislation that threatened to withhold highway funding from states that did not comply with a national 21-year-old minimum drinking age.

5. On February 15, 2004, Montana became the first state in the nation to require voter-verified paper records of every vote cast in its elections. This move came in response to concerns about the security and accuracy of electronic voting systems, and has since been adopted by other states around the country.
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