Celebrations Today – May 26
Holidays and observances
- Christian feast day:
- Crown Prince’s Birthday (Denmark)
- Independence Day, commemorates the day of the First Republic in 1918 (Georgia)
- Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Guyana from the United Kingdom in 1966.
- Mother’s Day (Poland)
- National Day of Healing (Australia)
- National Paper Airplane Day (United States)
Celebrations Today – USA: May 26
National Blueberry Cheesecake Day
National Don’t Fry Day – Friday Before Memorial Day
National Heat Awareness Day – Last Friday in May
National Cherry Dessert Day
National Grey Day
National Paper Airplane Day
National Sally Ride Day
World Lindy Hop Day
World Redhead Day
Today in US History: May 26
On May 26, 1864, President Lincoln signed an enabling act creating the Territory of Montana. Twenty-five years later, on November 8, 1889, Montana became the forty-first state.
Map of the territory of Montana with portions of the adjoining territories [Detail of Legend],
Drawn by W. W. de Lacy for the use of the first legislature of Montana,
St. Louis, Mo: Jul. Hutawa, lithr., 1865.
Numerous Native American tribes originally inhabited the Montana Territory. Today, Montana’s Indian reservations maintain the heritage and culture of many of these tribes including the Crow, Northern Cheyenne, Assiniboine, Gros Ventre or Atsina, Blackfeet, Kootenai, Salish, Chippewa, and Cree. Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and the members of their expedition were the first explorers to document a journey through Montana and the lands of the Louisiana Purchase. Soon, forts were established to facilitate regular fur trading with Native American tribes. Missionaries and trailblazers followed.
The discovery of gold in the early 1860s sped the creation of the Montana Territory. As settlers and gold prospectors entered Montana in the 1860s and 1870s conflicts with the Indians arose. Perhaps the most famous clash between Native Americans and the United States military occurred in Montana on June 25, 1876. On that day, Sioux and Cheyenne defeated Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer‘s 7th United States Cavalry regiment at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, also known as Custer’s Last Stand. A year later, Nez Percé Chief Joseph surrendered in the Bear Paw Mountains of Montana after traveling over 1,000 miles across Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana, trying to elude the U.S. Army and reach safe haven in Canada.
Bands of sheep on the Gravelly Range at the foot of Black Butte, Madison County, Montana,
Russell Lee, photographer, August 1942.
FSA/OWI Color Photographs, 1938-1944
Lured by gold in the 1860s and copper in the 1880s, mining brought many settlers to Montana. Rich grazing lands for cattle and sheep attracted other pioneers. Irene Binderies recalls her memories of moving to Superior, Montana as a young girl:
My family came to Superior from Missoula in 1898, when I was about 14. My father had been editor of several of the larger Montana papers, among them the Butte Miner. Our former environment had been so different from the one we found here that the mining atmosphere made quite an…impression on my brothers and sisters and me, at first mainly of shock.”Social Life in and about Superior,” Superior, Montana,
Mabel Olson, interviewer, between 1936 and 1940.
American Life Histories, 1936-1940
Learn more about Montana in American Memory:
- Read more accounts of pioneer life in Montana. Search the collection American Life Histories, 1936-1940 on pioneer, homestead, Montana, or click on a state in the WPA Life Histories’ map to browse a list of interviews conducted in that state. Trails to Utah and the Pacific: Diaries and Letters, 1846-1869 includes personal diaries and journals such as Trip to Montana by wagon train, 1865 April 14- November 9.
- Search the American Memory Photos/Prints collections on Montana to view additional Montana scenes including Glacier National Park.
- Several American Memory collections focus on Native American History. Search on Montana or the names of individual Indian tribes to find a wide array of materials. In particular, American Indians of the Pacific Northwest provides access to important written documentation found in Annual Reports of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to the Secretary of the Interior. Reports include information from the Montana agencies such as the Flathead Agency, Blackfeet Agency, Crow Agency, and others.
- Examine bird’s-eye view maps of Montana towns through the collection Panoramic Maps, 1847-1929. Follow the instructions presented with the map, and zoom in on an area of the map to see houses, churches, horse drawn carts, and much more in fine and accurate detail. See, for example, Helena in 1875, Miles City in 1883, or Butte about 1884.
Today in History – May 26-External Links
Today’s Weather in History
Today in Earthquake History
This Day in Naval History
Today’s Document from the National Archives
Today’s Events, Births & Deaths –Wikipedia
Today in History by AP
On this Day -1950 to 2005 – Today’s Story–BBC
On This Day: The New York Times
This Day in History –History.com
Today in Canadian History – Canada Channel
History of Britain that took place On This Day
Russia in History –Russiapedia