|State nickname: Gem State|
- % water
|Ranked 14th |
- Total (2000)
|Admittance into Union
July 3, 1890
- Pacific: UTC-8/-7
- Mountain: UTC-7/-6
| 42°N to 49°N
111°W to 117°W
USS Idaho was named in honor of this state.
On March 4, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed an act creating Idaho Territory. Part of the Louisiana Purchase, Idaho was visited by Lewis and Clark in 1805. At that time, approximately 8,000 Native Americans lived in the region. Originally part of Oregon and Washington territories, fur trading and missionary work attracted the first settlers to the region. While thousands passed through Idaho during the California gold rush of 1849, few people settled there. When organized as a territory in 1863, the total population was under 17,000.
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 replaced Lewiston as capital. The 1866 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. Interestingly, the state still operates under its original (1889) state constitution.
As Idaho 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. [1 (http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/mar04)]
Law and Government 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.
Idaho borders Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Montana, Wyoming and the country of Canada. 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 state's gross product for 1999 was $34 billion placing it 44th among the states. The Per Capita Income for 2000 was $24,180. Agricultural products are cattle, potatoes, dairy products, wheat, sugar beets, and barley. The industrial output is food processing, lumber and wood products, machinery, chemical products, paper products, silver and other mining, and tourism.
The 2000 population was 1,293,953.