Today is a huge day for celebration in the state of Idaho! 150 years ago today on March 4, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Congressional Act which created the Territory of Idaho. There are celebrations going on throughout that state today and throughout this year as it celebrates its sesquicentennial.

“Territories” were formed by the United States government beginning as early as 1787 with the Northwest Territory (now Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, parts of Wisconsin) in order to organize, settle, and govern huge sections of land controlled by the government.  Territories had a governor and other officials, including legislatures, judiciary, marshals and so on.  Once a territory had enough population, it could petition the U.S. government to officially become a state and enter the Union.  Idaho was admitted as an official state on July 3, 1890.

The original Idaho Territory consisted of remnants from the old Oregon Territory and comprised most of the present day states of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.  Over the decades of its existence, parts of the Idaho Territory were taken by the Wyoming Territory.  By the time of its admittance to the Union in 1890, the modern day boundaries of the state of Idaho had been determined.

As I mentioned earlier, today is a big day in Idaho.  To help honor the memory of Abraham Lincoln and his signing of the Act which formed Idaho Territory, the state legislature there has named an auditorium in the state house for him.  A handsome plaque dedicates the auditorium in his memory.  Here’s a photo of the plaque unveiled just today:

I owe special thanks for this information to my friend Tara who happens to live in the Idaho capital of Boise. I would have completely missed this anniversary were it not for her letting me know of this special day for all Idahoans.

Idaho. One of the many parts of the legacy of Abraham Lincoln, which continues to resonate throughout our nation nearly 150 years after his death.

Happy Birthday, Idaho!   If you’d like to read more about the events going on in that beautiful state this year, please click here.