Events » High Noon Lecture Series


UFOs and Extraterrestrials in Montana

May 9, 2018 — 5:30 pm        May 10, 2018 — Noon
By: Joan Bird
Sponsored by: Humanities Montana

While many UFO sightings can be conventionally explained, a small percentage of reports remain unexplained in both government and private investigations. Montana is home to some of the most significant, well-documented and interesting UFO reports in the history of ufology. This presentation is a short course in UFO literacy, using Montana events to illustrate different aspects of the phenomenon. Montana seems to be a place where there is a lot of historical UFO activity and the audience is invited to share their own or their family’s stories.

Gary Cooper: First, Last, and Always
May 16, 2018 — 5:30 pm        May 17, 2018 — Noon
By: Neal Lewing
Sponsored by: Seva Kitchen & Humanities Montana

Personifying the ideal American male, Gary Cooper, above all, was most concerned with integrity; his roles reflected those personal views. This nostalgic reintroduction to one of Hollywood’s most endearing and enduring actors recreates memorable moments, from his first silent films to his dramatic last days, through the written words he spoke. Underscored by music and socio-economic history of his day, this program not only illuminates Montana’s favorite actor but also 20th-century America.


Edy’s Grand Ice Cream: Sweet Treats with Magic City History
May 23, 2018 — 5:30 pm        May 24, 2018 — Noon 
By: Tiffini Gallant
Sponsored by: Joseph Dillard and Stella Fong

Joseph Edy wanted to become a household name, but he didn’t live to see it happen. Edy’s Grand Ice Cream now stocks the shelves of grocery stores across the nation, and it started with an unexpected partnership and a pair of sewing shears. When a Magic City confectionery ventured out to make a name for himself, he proved that the long journey to success can be a rocky road, indeed.

The 1959 Yellowstone Earthquake
June 21, 2018 — Noon
By: Larry Morris
Sponsored by: Northwestern Energy and Hilton Garden Inn Billings and Bozeman

At 11:37 p.m. on August 17, 1959, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake rocked Montana’s Yellowstone country. In an instant, an entire mountainside fractured and thundered down onto the sites of unsuspecting campers. The mammoth avalanche generated hurricane-force winds ahead of it that ripped clothing from backs and heaved tidal waves in both directions of the Madison River Canyon. More than two hundred vacationers trapped in the canyon feared the dam upstream would burst. As debris and flooding overwhelmed the river, injured victims frantically searched the darkness for friends and family. Acclaimed historian Larry Morris tells the gripping minute-by-minute saga of the survivors who endured the interminable night, the first responders who risked their lives and the families who waited days and weeks for word of their missing loved ones.

Cowboy Tales on the Eaton Trail in Yellowstone

June 28, 2018 — Noon
By: Don W. DeJarnett
Sponsored by: Boothill Inn

Cowboy Howard Eaton began taking people into Yellowstone country in the late 1880s, after it became the first National Park. He and his brothers established the world’s first “Dude Ranch” in Medora, North Dakota, and in 1904 moved the Eaton Ranch to Wolf, Wyoming. Howard began taking Dudes on 15 and 20 day trips through Yellowstone with as many as 100 people on horseback, including all the food, tents and other requirements for ..”.taking a leisurely riding tour through the Park, roughing it in comfort.” Don DeJarnett, himself, spent some time as an Eaton Cowboy and will lead you on an imaginary trip through today’s Yellowstone, following as closely as possible Howard Eaton’s trail, and “camping” in the same spots where Eaton and his guests spent their nights.

Wild Resurrection: The Story of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness
July 19, 2018 — Noon
By: Kris Prinzing and Teddy Roe 
Sponsored by: Marge McArthur and Bernie Rose

The Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness area (the “AB”) is an iconic landscape that is intimately interwoven with our identity in Billings and as Montanans. 40 years ago today, it was a freshly designated Wilderness area, with all the unique protections that designation status provides. However, were it not for what happened on January 12, 1978, it may not have been given that protection at all.  The story that Roe and Prinzing will tell is one that enables us to better understand the preciousness and the precariousness of the AB while simultaneously dipping our toes into some history that might shine light through the fog of the present day. 

Canyon Village in Yellowstone: The Model for Mission 66
August 16, 2018 — Noon
By: Lesley M. Gilmore
Sponsored by: CTA Architects Engineers

By 1955, the national parks were facing a crisis of dilapidation from heavy use and lack of funding. The answer was Mission 66. This visionary plan, implemented over the next decade, included installation of new facilities to accommodate the influx of visitors and enhance their experiences. The pilot development in Yellowstone, named Canyon Village, introduced a modern aesthetic to the parks and emphasized the concept of conservation. This man-made environment was purposefully sited away from the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, providing a natural buffer. Architect Lesley M. Gilmore presents the complexities of this historic, ambitious model for the movement that marked the continued evolution of the national parks into the destinations we flock to today. 

The Three Victims of the Third Degree: Billings’ Pre-Sedition Climate 
September 20, 2018 — Noon 
By: Elisabeth DeGrenier
Sponsored by: Dave and Lynda Ballard

On the evening of November 9, 1917, Billings’ newly formed Third Degree Committee accused three citizens of pro-German sympathies. They forced the resignation of a city council member, a state renowned architect, and required a south side butcher to restate his oath to the United States.  None of these men had prior criminal charges or incidents in Billings, so how did these charges come about? In this presentation, we’ll analyze the events surrounding this night and look at how Billings was not immune to fears of German infiltration.

Ready for Takeoff: Montana, World War I, and Aviation
October 18, 2018 — Noon
By: Kate Hampton, Montana Historical Society Community Preservation Coordinator
Sponsored by: Conrad and Michelle Caron and Anonymous Donor

The development of the airplane as a practical means of transportation coincided with the Great War. As flying machines advanced, so too did Montanans’ fascination with all things aeronautic. After the war, experienced pilots returned home to advance the cause of aviation and establish the state’s first flying schools and airports. 

Serving a Community: Parmly Billings Memorial Library during WWI 
November 15, 2018 — Noon 
By: Gavin Woltjer, Billings Public Library Director
Sponsored by: Mayor Bill and Anne Cole

Explore and examine the ways in which the Parmly Billings Library supported the war effort from 1917-1918 with Gavin Woltjer, Director of Billings Public Library. His discussion will include book drives for soldiers, efforts to deliver comfort for soldiers’ families, the library’s use as a campaign site for enlistment, and its role in dealing with public health issues including the deadly influenza epidemic of 1918. Materials used to highlight this presentation come from the Billings Public Library’s archives. 

Visualizing Conflict: Memory and the Great War 
December 20, 2018 — Noon
By: Dr. Jen Lynn
Sponsored by: Anonymous Donor

Dr. Lynn’s presentation explores how multiple memories and meanings of war were fashioned in the aftermath of World War I. She analyzes a variety of photographs, paintings, memorials and films in order to examine the contested representations of national identity, violence, anti-war sentiment and trauma in European culture. Dr. Lynn argues that the memory of the war (and images of the war and military culture) became especially important within German society and politics within the context of forming of the Weimar Republic and the political battles of the late 1920s and early 1930s. Images helped produce and shape memories and meanings of the war on an individual, local and national level.


Community 7 TV Schedule: Following the week of the noon-hour lecture, the program will air the next three weekends on Community 7 Friday at 5pm, Saturday at 4pm, and Sunday at 7am and 4pm. Programs are streamed live online at