full name State of Idaho

POSTAL ABBREVIATION ID

inhabitant Idahoan

ADMITTED TO THE UNION July 3, 1890.

Rank 43rd

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.

SYMBOLS

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 Dam.

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 Lapwai.

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
Idaho.

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
Lewiston.

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
Montana

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 Pacific Ocean.

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 Alaska.

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.

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