By Tom Cook, Montana Historical Society

His iconic face and voice brought the
news of the world to television viewers
across the nation and to those he always
remembered back in his Montana
homeland.
“Remembering Montana’s Chet Huntley,
Legendary Newscaster, Journalist
and Developer of the Big Sky” will be
presented all day during the Montana
Historical Society’s free admission
Second Saturday, Dec. 10. Events will
be in the Society’s auditorium, just east
of the State Capitol in Helena.
The gala day is in celebration of the
100th anniversary of Huntley’s birth in
Caldwell as the oldest of four children
to Northern Pacific telegraph operator
Percy and his wife Blanche. He lived
at numerous other Montana locations
and graduated from Whitehall High
School before attending Montana State
University.
Documentaries, films, video clips and
talks by noted Montana broadcaster
Norma Ashby, historian Jon Axline,
and the Society’s own Interpretive
Historian Ellen Baumler will all be
featured, as well as Huntley memorabilia
from the Society collection, loaned
items from the Museum of the Rockies,
and from the personal collection of
Ashby.
Huntley is best known for co-anchoring
The Huntley-Brinkley Report for
14 years beginning in 1956 on NBC.
In addition to eight Emmy Awards,
Huntley was awarded the Alfred I.
DuPont Award, Peabody Award and
two Overseas Press Club Awards.
In Montana, Huntley was also the
developer of Big Sky Resort. The scope
and concept of the 11,000 acre yearround
resort changed the recreation
industry in the state.
“His voice brought the news of pivotal
events of the day to Americans—the
Kennedy Assassination, the Civil
Rights Movement, the conquest of
space and so much more,” Society
Special Projects Manager Sue Near said.
“But we should also remember him for
changing the face of Montana and its
development.”
Door prizes provided by the Helena
Credit Union and other sponsors will
be offered all day.
Event schedule:
10 a.m. – “Huntley Video Clip Festival”
highlighting Huntley’s work and legacy
presented by Sue Near.
Noon – “Chet Huntley’s Montana”
power point images and audio recordings
by Huntley presented in 1959 to
the Montana Broadcasters Association.
1 p.m. – “Personal Recollections of
Chet Huntley” an interview of Norma
Ashby about Huntley produced by
Helena Civic TV.
3 p.m. – “Last Chance Gulch” a 1964
film on the history of Helena written
by Norma Ashby and narrated by
Huntley. Ellen Baumler and Jon Axline
will provide additional commentary.