Montana History in 9 MORE Easy Lessons: Copper, Commies, and the Cold War: Montana’s Labor Resurgence, 1934-1950

Montana Historical Society (MHS) staff members and other subject matter experts will lead a two-month exploration of the last twelve thousand years of Montana history. Every Wednesday, 3:30-4:30, between April 3, 2019, and May 29, 2019, a presenter will discuss a major theme of Montana history. Individually, these programs will offer compelling discussions of specific topics relating to Montana’s past; together they will provide a big-picture overview of the state’s rich and fascinating history. Come for one—or come for all! OPI Renewal Credits will be available and presentations will be live-streamed for those who can’t make it in person (and ultimately archived).

Contact Kirby Lambert at the Historical Society for more information.

This week’s lesson is Copper, Commies, and the Cold War: Montana’s Labor Resurgence, 1934–1950. Join Senior MHS Manuscript Archivist Rich Aarstad for a raucous romp through Montana’s labor history, beginning with the rebirth of Montana’s labor movement in 1934, at the height of the Great Depression, through 1950, when the Red Scare caused new fissures in the labor movement nationally and in Montana. About the speaker: Rich Aarstad joined the staff of the Montana Historical Society in 2001. He’s the author of “Western Montana’s Christmas Tree Boom, 1926–1969,” published in Montana The Magazine of Western History, coauthor of the book Montana Place Names from Alzada to Zortman and a prolific public speaker, who has presented on topics ranging from Lewis and Clark and World War I to jerks in Montana history.

Montana History in 9 Easy Lessons: Montana and the Cold War

The Montana Historical Society is doing a two-month series called Montana History in 9 Easy Lessons.  Each session will be live streamed.  This week’s lesson is about Montana and the Cold War. The Cold War had a profound impact on Montana. Although distant from Washington, D.C., and Moscow, the state’s wide-open spaces and sparse population made Montana an important part of the country’s Cold War strategy. Along with the nuclear missiles based here, Montanans took an active role in defending the security of the United States through Civil Defense groups like the Ground Observer Corps.  About the speaker:  Jon Axline is a graduate of Montana State University and has worked at the Montana Department of Transportation since 1990. He is the author of a number of books and articles, including Conveniences Sorely Needed: Montana’s Historic Highway Bridges, Taming Big Sky Country: The History of Montana Transportation from Trails to Interstate,  and “Operation Skywatch: The Montana Ground Observer Corps, 1952–1959,” which appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of Montana The Magazine of Western History.

OPI Renewal units will be available.  Contact Kirby Lambert at the Historical Society for more information.