JFK in Montana
John F. Kennedy has been a sore point for me for years.
Although I was only 5 years old in 1963 when he visited Montana, two events in my young life that year involved the 35th president of the United States of America.
On Sept. 25, 1963, JFK stopped in Billings on a 5-day, 11-state political tour to promote his policies on conservation and the environment. He spent 90 minutes in the Magic City on Sept. 25, and 20 minutes there the following day to change airplanes.
He and his entourage then flew on to Great Falls, where he visited Sen. Mike Mansfield’s parents and gave a speech to an estimated 100,000 people at Memorial Stadium near Great Falls High School. The visits showed that although Montana voted Republican in the 1960 presidential election, JFK’s personal popularity often transcended his political philosophies.
To read the rest of Axline’s story about JFK’s visit to Montana, find this issue on newsstands now. To read more Montana all year, subscribe now.
Charles Lindbergh: Young Vikings of the Air
Few today can imagine the mania that accompanied Charles Lindbergh on his visit to Montana in 1927.
Just two months after his epic solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, the Lone Eagle and the Spirit of St. Louis embarked on a 22,000-mile, 48-state tour of the United States to promote commercial aviation. The tour brought him and his entourage to Montana in early September of that year.
Here, as in other states, he was met by enthusiastic crowds eager to see the “Young Viking of the Air” and, perhaps, hear him speak about his recent transatlantic adventure. In that, they were sorely disappointed.
Butte was Lindbergh’s first Montana stop, on September 5. Wearing the leather jacket he wore on his transatlantic flight a few months earlier, Lindbergh climbed down from the Spirit of St. Louis to the cheers of 15,000 fans.
To read the rest of Axline’s story on Lindbergh’s grand visit, find this issue on newsstands now. To read more Montana all year, subscribe now.