Copper is at $29.19 in 1917 and the year opens with the Anaconda Company announcing that mining profits are the greatest ever known. With over $3,000,000,000 in mine output, copper is the sensation of the year. By February of 1917, the United States faces the great danger of war. President Wilson is under pressure from Allies to enter the Great War. In March, the nation is facing a drought, a food shortage, and import/export activities are at a standstill. The copper producers have pledged their major ore to the United States of America military efforts. John D. Ryan and William A. Clark serve on the Sub-Committee on raw materials, with John D. Ryan appointed as Chairman.

This year is the centennial anniversary of World War I.  On April 6, 2017, The United States of America Declares War on Germany and enters the Great War. In the halls of Congress, Miss Jeannette Rankin rose to answer the roll call vote. She stated, “I want to stand by my country, but I cannot vote for war.”  She was placed on the list of those who opposed the resolution declaring the existence of a State of War.  Montana in 1917, surpassed all states in enlistment rates and the draft quotas, with 12,500 volunteers and 40,000 men drafted. These figures comprise 10% of Montana’s population.

1917 was also the year that cost the Butte’s young men their lives.  Between January to June of 1917, 36 men lost their lives in industrial accidents.  This is before the North Butte Mining Company fire at the Granite Mountain and Speculator Mines, where 168 men lost their lives. In addition, thirty men would succumb to tuberculosis in 1917.


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