Idaho State Flag
Idaho State Seal
is a state located in the northwestern United
States. Its capital is Boise
and the U.S. postal abbreviation is ID.
is perhaps the only state to be named as the result of a hoax. When
a name was being selected for a new territory, eccentric lobbyist George
M. Willing suggested "Idaho," an Indian term he claimed meant "gem of
the mountains." It was later revealed Willing had made up the name himself,
and the original Idaho territory was re-named Colorado
because of it. Eventually the controversy was forgotten, and modern-day
Idaho was given the made-up
name when the Idaho Territory was formally created in 1863.
The USS Idaho was
named in honor of this state.
- % water
- Total (2000)
July 3, 1890
Idaho: - Pacific: UTC-8/-7
Southern Idaho: - Mountain: UTC-7/-6
N to 49° N
111° W to 117° W
The Lewis and Clark
expedition entered present-day Idaho
on August 12, 1805, at the Lemhi Pass. At that time, approximately 8,000
Native Americans lived in the region.
was subsequently part of Oregon Territory and later Washington Territory,
fur trading and missionary work attracting the first settlers to the
region. While thousands passed through Idaho
during the California gold
rush of 1849, few people settled there. The first organized town in
Idaho was Franklin,
settled in 1860 by Mormon pioneers. When organized as a territory in
1863, Idaho's total population was under 17,000.
On March 4, 1863,
President Abraham Lincoln signed an act creating Idaho Territory. The
political stability of the territorial period encouraged settlement.
Almost immediately, a public school system was created, stage coach
lines were established and a newspaper, the Idaho Statesman, began publication.
In 1865, Boise
as capital. The 1861 discovery of gold in Idaho
and the completion of the transcontinental railway in 1869 brought many
new people to the territory, including Chinese laborers who came to
work the mines. When President Benjamin Harrison signed the law admitting
Idaho as a U.S. state on
July 3, 1890, the population was 88,548. An interesting fact is that
Idaho almost never became
a state - in 1887, President Grover Cleveland refused to sign a bill
that would have combined southern Idaho
with Nevada and northern
Idaho with the Washington
Territory. Sectionalism in early Idaho
was abated by moving the University of Idaho from its planned location
in Eagle Rock
Falls) to Moscow
in northern Idaho. Idaho
still operates under its original (1889) state constitution.
approached statehood, mining and other extractive industries became
increasingly important to her economy. By the 1890s, for example, Idaho
exported more lead than any other state. Although Idaho's dependence
on mining has decreased, the state remains a top producer of silver
and lead. Today, Idaho's industrial economy is growing, as plants are
built to process the state's rich agricultural and natural resources.
Since in the late 1970s Boise
has emerged as a center of semiconductor manufacturing.
A troubling recent
development in Idaho has
been the location therein of many right-wing extremist political groups,
most notably those holding Neo-Nazi views, such as the Aryan Nation.
These groups are most heavily concentrated in the northern part of the
state, particularly in the vicinity of Coeur
d'Alene. Their existence has become so proverbial in American popular
culture that an unfortunate joke asks what Idaho
is most famous for, and the answer is: "Potatoes and Nazis."
The current constitution
of Idaho provides for 3
branches of government, the executive, legislative and judicial branches.
The legislative body consists of the Senate and the House.
The Current (2004)
Governor of Idaho is Dirk Kempthorne (Republican) and the U.S. Senators
are Larry E. Craig (Republican) and Mike Crapo (Republican).
borders Washington, Oregon,
and the Canadian province of British
Columbia (the Idaho-BC
border which is 48 miles long). Idaho
has a rugged landscape with some of the largest unspoiled natural areas
in the country. Idaho is
a Rocky Mountains state with exciting scenery and enormous natural resources.
Idaho has towering, snow-capped
mountain ranges, swirling white rapids, peaceful lakes and steep canyons.
The churning waters of Snake River rush through Hells Canyon, which
is deeper than the Grand Canyon. Shoshone Falls plunges down rugged
cliffs from a height greater than that of Niagara Falls.
The major rivers
in Idaho are the Snake River,
the Clearwater River and the Salmon River. Other significant rivers
include the Boise River and the Payette River.
point is Borah Peak in the Lost River Mountains north of Mackay.
Idaho's lowest point is in Lewiston,
where the Clearwater River joins the Snake River and continues into
- Pend Oreille
- City of
of the Moon National Monument
- Hells Canyon
- U.S. Highway
- U.S. Highway
- U.S. Highway
- U.S. Highway
- U.S. Highway
The state's gross
product for 1999 was $34 billion placing it 44th among the states. The
Per Capita Income for 2000 was $24,180.
is an important agricultural state, producing nearly one third of the
potatoes grown in the United States.
Other important agricultral products are beans,lentils, sugar beets,
cattle, dairy products, wheat, and barley.
in Idaho are food processing,
lumber and wood products, machinery, chemical products, paper products,
electronics manufacturing, silver and other mining, and tourism. The
Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL), a government
lab for nuclear energy research, is also an important part of the eastern
Important Cities and Towns
Colleges and Universities
College of Idaho
- Boise State
- Idaho State
Professional Sports Teams
The Minor League
baseball teams are:
- Boise Hawks
- Idaho Falls Chukars
Other minor league
- Idaho Stampede
- Idaho Steelheads
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