Monday, March 20, 2023

Welcome to Idaho! Now then…

| May 5, 2021 1:00 AM

Maybe it's time for a civics lesson.

Hey, in this age of political division, that's something we could all agree upon, right? A good civics lesson?

Then here we go.

The lure of gold helped put Idaho on the map, even before it was technically on the map. In 1860, Elias Pierce discovered gold at Orofino Creek.

Idaho was granted statehood the day before Independence Day in 1890. It had become its own territory in 1863. Lewiston was its first territorial capital; Boise was and remains the state capital.

Well before that, back in 1805, the Lewis and Clark Expedition crossed what would become Idaho on their way to the Pacific Ocean. A person of color led the way across our panhandle.

The first Idaho settlement was Franklin, near the Utah border.

In 1892, union miners in the Coeur d'Alene area went on strike, a tradition that continues in modern times.

In 1896 Idaho did itself proud, becoming one of the first states in the nation granting women the right to vote.

Idaho's state amphibian is the Idaho giant salamander, not to be confused with some of the cold-blooded critters scurrying around the Capitol building these days.

Its state bird is not the One-Digit Flier that drivers see frequently, winging from car windows. The Idaho state bird is the mountain bluebird.

OK, that's enough for one day.

Thanks for paying attention.

This civics lesson was brought to you by longtime citizens who acknowledge newcomers' rights to form groups like the North Idaho Freedom Fighters but wish they'd get to know their new home a little bit before trying to save the rest of us from ourselves.

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