full name State of Idaho
POSTAL ABBREVIATION ID inhabitant Idahoan
ADMITTED TO THE UNION July 3, 1890.
capital city Boise, the largest city in the state, located on the Boise
River in southwestern Idaho; population 125,738. Originally an army camp, it was founded as a settlement in 1863 and was incorporated as a city the following year, when it also became the territorial capital.
state name and nicknames The name "Idaho" is an artificial Indian word invented by George M. Willing. Also known as the Gem State and the Gem of the Mountains (the putative meaning of "Idaho").
state seal In the center is a shield showing a landscape, with the Snake
River, mountains, a fir tree, and a farmer at the plow. Above the shield is an elk's head and the state motto on a scroll; below it is a sheaf of wheat; to the right is a miner; to the left a woman holding symbols of justice and liberty. Along the bottom are agricultural symbols, including two cornucopias, the state flower, and ripened wheat. The yellow border reads "Great Seal of the State of Idaho."
The western state of Idaho belongs to the Mountain states. It is bordered on the north by Canada, on the east by Montana and Wyoming, on the south by
Nevada and Utah, and on the west by Oregon, Washington, and the Snake
River. It ranks 42nd in population and 14th in area among the states.
motto Esto Perpetua (It Is Forever)
song "Here We Have Idaho," lyrics by McKinley Helm and Albert J. Tompkins, music by Sallie Hume Douglas.
Flower syringa Tree white pine Bird mountain bluebird Gem star garnet Horse
Appaloosa flag A blue field with the state seal in the center and below it a red band bearing the legend "State of Idaho."
As a Rocky Mountain state, Idaho is dominated by mountain terrain, with the
Continental Divide forming Idaho's eastern border. The state contains some of the largest stretches of unspoiled wilderness in the continental U.S., with a wide diversity of flora and game. Idaho also boasts more than 2,000 lakes and ten major rivers. Heavily irrigated farmland lines the Snake
River valley, the state's major drainage; Hell's Canyon, along the western
Snake River, is the deepest gorge—about one mile in depth—in North America. elevations Highest point-. Borah Peak, Cus- ter County, 12,662 feet. Lowest point. Snake River, Nez Perce County, 710 feet. Mean elevation: 5,000 feet major rivers Snake, Salmon, Clearwater
major lakes Pend Oreille, Coeur d'Alene, Priest, Bear, American Falls,
Cascade, and Dworshak
temperatures (1990) The highest recorded temperature was 118°F on July 28,
1934, at Orotino. The lowest was —60°F on January 18, 1943, at Island Park
IDAHO IN HISTORY
1805 A U.S. expedition led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark crosses what is now the Idaho panhandle en route to the Pacific coast.
1809 David Thompson of the North West Company establishes a trading post on the eastern shore
of Lake Pend Oreille.
1810 Andrew Henry of the Missouri Fur Company establishes a camp on the fork of the Snake River but abandons it the following year.
1818 The United States and Great Britain agree on joint occupancy of the Pacific Northwest, including what is now Idaho.
1834 Fort Hall and Fort Boise are constructed to aid fur traders; these posts become stops on the Oregon Trail, which by 1845 is a well-traveled road.
1836 Henry Spalding establishes a mission to the Nez Perce Indians at
1846 June 15. A treaty with Great Britain establishes the Pacific
Northwest below the 49th parallel as U.S. territory.
1848 August 14. Oregon Territory is created, including present-day
1855 A treaty with the Koutenai, Pend Oreille, and Flathead Indians creates reservations for them in what is now Idaho and Montana. A treaty with the Nez Perce establishes for them a reserve in what is now Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.
I860 June 15. First permanent settlement in Idaho, at Franklin, by
Mormons from Utah. In 1911 this day is proclaimed Pioneer Day.
1862 The Golden Age is Idaho's first newspaper and is published in
1863 March 4. Creation of Idaho Territory.
Some Nez Perce accept a smaller reservation replacing the 1855 area, overrun by
gold prospectors. Chinese violence in 1866-1867 that leaves over a hundred dead. 1874 The Utah Northern Railroad reaches Franklin from Ogden, Utah.
1877 Nontreaty Nez Perce led by Chief Joseph, expelled from northeastern Oregon, are pursued
through Idaho by federal troops before surrendering in
1878 Forty whites and 78 Indians die in an uprising by Paiutes and
Bannocks. Indian warfare in Idaho ends the following year. 1880 Silver is found in the
Wood River region. 1882 The Northern Pacific Railroad links northern Idaho to the east and the Pacific
Northwest seaports. .
1884 Completion of the Oregon Short Line Railroad from Wyoming through southern
Idaho to Oregon.
1885 Noah S. Kellogg finds silver in the Coeur d Alene area. 1 he
Bunker Hill and Sullivan mines become the biggest in the chief lead- silver district in the U.S., which has yielded about $2 billion.
. . Test Oath Act bars Mormons from voting, holding office, or serving on Juries These disabilities become part of the state constitution and remain in force until 1890 when Mormons renounce polygamy as an act of faith.
1892 Martial law is declared in northern Idaho mining towns, where the dispatch ot federal troops helps break a miners' strike. More than
600 union leaders and sympathizers are arrested.
1896-1902 Democrats, allied with Populists, control state politics. They also receive support from dissident Republicans who join in seeking the remonetization of silver.
1899 Dynamiting of Bunker Hill concentrator results in the reimposition of martial law and dispatch of U.S. troops. The Western
Federation of Miners is suppressed, and hundreds of miners are imprisoned for six months.
1905 Women receive the right to vote.
December W. Former governor Frank Steunenberg is assassinated.
1907 Clarence Darrow successfully defends "Big Bill" Haywood and two other Western Federation of Miners officials found not guilty of conspiracy in Steunenberg s murder. William Borah, the prosecutor, is elected to the U.S. Senate; he servesuntil his death in 1940.
. establishing the initiative, referendum and recall.
1912 Voters adopt constitutional amendments
1914 Moses Alexander is elected the first Jewish governor of any state.
1915 Arrowrock Dam, completed on the Boise River, is, at 354 feet, the highest dam in the world. .
1922 Farmers are receiving less than one-third of 1919 prices for crops and livestock. 1927 The American Falls Dam, on the
Snake River near Pocatello, provides irrigation water for one million acres. Completion of U.S. Highway 95, the only land connection between northern and southern Idaho.
1931 Adoption of a state income tax and a tax on private-power combines.
1932 As a result of the the Great Depression, average income has fallen 49 percent since 1929. Cash income of farmers has fallen by almost two-thirds.
1934 Idaho is first among states in silver and second in lead production. Shoshone County has the nation's largest silver mine
(the Sunshine Mine) and the three largest lead producers. The state also ranks third in hay and fifth in wool.
1936 The Union Pacific Railroad creates Sun Valley as a ski resort.
1939 Per capita income has risen to $452 from $287 in 1933.
1942 Nearly 10,000 persons of Japanese ancestry are sent from the West
Coast to an internment camp at Hunt.
1951 The Atomic Energy Commission's National Reactor Testing Station, near Arco, successfully uses atomic energy to produce electricity.
Opening, at Lewiston, of Idaho's first pulp and paper plant.
1959 Completion of the Brownlee Dam on the Hell's Canyon stretch of the Snake River.
Idaho is fourth among states in irrigated acres—2,330,000—comprising
54 percent of the state's farmland.
1965 A state sales tax of three percent is adopted.
1972 May 2. A fire in the Sunshine Mine kills 91 miners.
1973 Completion of the Dworshak Dam on the Clearwater River.
1975 Lewiston becomes a seaport with the dedication of a $344-million deep-channel waterway linking the Snake and Columbia rivers to the
1976 June 5. The Teton Dam on the Snake River collapses, killing 11 persons and causing at least $400 million in property damage.
1980 Creation of the 2.2-million-acre River of No Return Wilderness, the largest wilderness preserve in the United States outside of
1982 The Sunshine Mine and Bunker Hill mine and smelter are closed because of low silver prices.
1985 Idaho accounts for 48 percent of national silver production. It also produces all the nation's antimony and ranks second among states in lead and vanadium production and third in phosphate rock and molybdenum. Record potato production of over 102 million hundredweight comprises one-fourth of all U.S. potatoes.
1986 Idaho voters adopt a right-to-work constitutional amendment prohibiting the payment of union dues as a condition for employment.
1992 Overcoming objections from state officials and tribal councils, the federal government ships nuclear waste to an Idaho Falls storage center for the first time in three years.Angus!. Governor Cecil
Andrus declares a state of emergency as fires rage through the state.
SOME INFORMATION: The Idaho potato remains the state's most important cash crop, followed by wheat, sugar beets, alfalfa, beans, truck vegetables, and peas. Cattle are the main livestock. Total farm receipts were over $2.7 billion in 1989. Manufacturing in the state is centered around potato and beet-sugar processing, lumber products, and chemicals. Silver, lead, and zinc, sand, gravel, basalt, pumice, garnet, and phosphate are the principle mining products. As in many Western states, tourism is one of the fastest growing industries, as visitors flock to see Idaho's spectacular national and state parks.
Among states, Idaho ranks high in the generation of energy from renewable resources —mainly hydropower and woodburning. The Columbia and Snake River system, which passes through the state, is one of the most endangered in the nation, in part due to Idaho's heavy use of irrigation. In fact,
Idahoans use more water per capita than the inhabitants of any other state.
Among the species threatened by declining river levels is the sockeye salmon, which is nearly extinct in Idaho.
NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES
Idaho was formerly home to the Kalispel, Nehelem, Northern Paiute, Palouse, and Spokane tribes. Groups that continue to live there include the Bannock,
Coeur d'Alene, Kootenay, Nez Perce, Northern Shoshoni, and Western
Shoshoni. Native Americans were 1.4 percent of the population in 1990.
RELIGIONS, ETHNICITIES, AND LANGUAGES
More than half of Idaho's population was born in Idaho; the rest is drawn mainly from the western and north central states. There is also a large community of Basques, originally from Spain, who continue their tradition of sheep-herding. Among churchgoers, Mormons are the biggest group, followed by Catholics and Methodists. In 1990, 2.9 percent of the population was foreign-born, with the majority of immigrants coming from
Mexico and Canada; 6.4 percent of the population spoke languages other than
English at home, of which the ten most common were Spanish, German, French,
Japanese, Shoshoni, Chinese, Basque, Thai (Laotian), Portuguese, and
Italian. Catholics and Methodists. In 1990, 2.9 percent of the population was foreign-born, with the majority of immigrants coming from Mexico and
Canada; 6.4 percent of the population spoke languages other than English at home, of which the ten most common were Spanish, German, French, Japanese,
Shoshoni, Chinese, Basque, Thai (Laotian), Portuguese, and Italian.
MAJOR MUSEUMS AND LIBRARIES
Boise Gallery of Art Idaho State Historical Museum, Boise
MAJOR ARTS ORGANIZATIONS
Boise Opera Boise Philharmonic Association
Idaho has the only state seal designed by a woman—Emma Sarah Edwards. The seal was officially adopted on March 14, 1891.
Democrat Moses Alexander, Idaho governor from 1915 to 1919, was the nation's first full-term Jewish governor.
Idaho's Craters of the Moon National Monument, a region of volcanic craters and ash-strewn low hills, was used by NASA as a training ground for Apollo astronauts.
The state's hydroelectric power plants, with 1 million-plus kilowatt capacity, use less than ten percent of Idaho's hydroelectric potential.
Idaho's stretch of U.S. Highway 12 runs along the route taken by the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1805. Only one major highway runs north-south in the state; when that is blocked in winter, vehicular travel between the upper and lower parts of the state is nearly impossible.
MAJOR MUSEUMS AND LIBRARIES
Boise Gallery of Art Idaho State Historical Museum, Boise
MAJOR ARTS ORGANIZATIONS Boise Opera Boise Philharmonic Association.
SHORT: Throughout the 1860’s, Idaho experienced a gold rush that drew scores of prospectors but left a lot of ghost towns. These relics of instant communities are found in many parts of the state. Mining? However?
Is still important. Idaho ranks first internationally in the production of silver? Lead? Zinc? Copper and cobalt.
The famed Sunshine Mince, a long and largest lode producer of silver in the
United States? Is there. In May 1972. A fire in the Sunshine sent lethal carbon monoxide and smoke wafting through 100 miles of workings. The death toll of miners was a staggering 91 people.
Of all commercial activities in the state, Idaho leans most heavily on agriculture for its economic well-being. It is the tenth largest producer of wheat in the nation and the leader in potatoes.
The Idaho potato, like the Georgia peach, remains something of an American institution. But it is the cattle industry that is responsible for the largest single share in annual farm-marketing cash receipts. Tourism, now the third-ranked industry, is one the rise, with an estimated 6 million yearly visitors.
There are more than 25 established ski areas in Idaho, including that dowager of winter resorts, Sun Valley.
Celebrated in song and film, Sun Valley has worn its fame well down through the years.