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5 Fun Facts About February 9 In Montana History

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February 9 may not be the most well-known date in Montana history, but several important events have occurred on this day throughout the years. Here are five interesting facts about February 9 in Montana history:

1. The deadliest avalanche in Montana history occurred on February 9, 1910, in the area around the town of Wellington. Known as the Wellington avalanche, it was caused by a series of heavy snowstorms that struck the area, causing a massive slide that buried two train sets with more than 200 passengers. The death toll of the disaster was 96, including passengers and train crew.

2. On February 9, 1883, the Montana Legislature approved a bill establishing the Montana Agricultural College, which later became Montana State University. The college's mission was to provide a practical education in agriculture, mechanic arts, and home economics to students in Montana and beyond.

3. Montana's first public library was founded on February 9, 1898, in the town of Bozeman. The library was established by a group of local women who believed that access to books and learning was essential for the growth and development of their community.

4. February 9, 1943, is the day that Montana native and United States Army Air Forces pilot David "Tex" Hill became a flying ace. Hill, who fought in the Pacific theater during World War II, shot down his fifth enemy plane on that day, becoming one of the most successful aerial combat pilots of the war.

5. Helena, Montana, was founded on February 9, 1865. Originally known as Last Chance Gulch, the town was settled by prospectors who had been searching for gold in the area. Today, Helena is the state capital of Montana and a popular tourist destination known for its historic architecture and outdoor recreation opportunities.

In summary, February 9 has been a significant day in Montana history, marked by events ranging from tragic disasters to the founding of institutions that continue to impact the state today.
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