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Historical Society unveils free public programs for March


Last updated 2/27/2023 at 10:32am

Press release

Irish immigrants, Meriwether Lewis’ mother, and outstanding Montanans Dolly Smith Cusker Akers and Ivan Doig will be honored in March by the Montana Historical Society.

At noon on March 1, Montana Historical Society Director Molly Kruckenberg and special guest Gov. Greg Gianforte will induct Doig and Akers into the Gallery of Outstanding Montanans. The public is invited to attend the induction ceremony, which will take place in the Capitol rotunda; the gallery itself is in the west wing of the Capitol.

The gallery was established by the Montana State Legislature in 1979 to pay homage to Treasure State citizens who “made contributions of state or national significance to their selected fields while epitomizing the unique spirit and character that defines Montana.” The program is operated by the Montana Historical Society.

The March 9 public program features a presentation by Lauren Hunley on the deep connection of the Irish in Montana. From Dublin to Tanzania, from Civil War battlefields to the mines of Butte, discover the roots of Irish immigrants in the Treasure State. Hunley, who is the Western Heritage Center’s community historian, will follow the paths of Irish immigrants to Big Sky Country.

The March 23 public program is a first-person interpretive presentation of the life of Lucy Meriwether Lewis Marks. Her story offers critical insight into understanding her intrepid explorer son. Lucy was determined to fulfill the role expected of upper-class woman at the turn of the 19th century, while remaining independent. She managed a large plantation household, which included dozens of enslaved people, and followed her passion for healing and the natural world, while remaining fiercely devoted to her son. Enjoy as popular historic interpreter Mary Jane Bradbury as she unveils the story of this remarkable woman.

Both public programs are free, and begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Lewis and Clark Library at 120 So. Last Chance Gulch in Helena. The library is co-sponsoring the event. The public programs also will be recorded for viewing on the Montana Historical Society’s YouTube channel.


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