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5 Fun Facts About July 4 In Montana History

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

1. Montana's first-ever celebrations of Independence Day were held in Virginia City, the territory's largest city at the time. According to historical records, the year was 1865, and residents marked the occasion by firing off cannons and engaging in a variety of sports, games, and races.

2. In 1910, the infamous "Great Fire of 1910" struck Montana on July 4th, destroying millions of acres of timberland and killing 85 people. Known as the largest and most devastating forest fire in US history, this tragedy remains a remarkable and important part of Montana's history.

3. Montana's mining and logging industries have long played prominent roles in the state's economy, and July 4th was often seen as a day to honor the workers who helped keep those industries running. In Missoula, for example, the Anaconda Copper Mining Company held an annual picnic for its employees on Independence Day from 1907 through the mid-20th century.

4. Following World War II, American cities across the country began hosting massive fireworks displays in honor of July 4th. Montana's largest such event takes place in Billings, where more than 20,000 people converge on the city's South Park each year to watch the pyrotechnic show. The tradition dates back to the early 1970s, and today the display features over 1,500 individual fireworks.

5. Although Montana has always held a deep reverence for America's founding principles, the state was actually one of the last to ratify the US Constitution. This happened on July 4th, 1889, when Montana finally gained statehood and joined the Union. Many Montanans view this moment as a crucial step in the state's journey toward becoming the dynamic and independent state it is today.
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