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(In Detail) (Full size)
State nickname: Gem State

Other U.S. States
Capital Boise
Largest CityBoise
GovernorDirk Kempthorne
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water
 - % water
Ranked 14th
216,632 kmē
214,499 kmē
2,133 kmē
 - Total (2000)
 - Density
Ranked 39th
Admittance into Union
 - Order
 - Date

July 3, 1890
Time zone Northern Idaho:
- Pacific: UTC-8/-7
Southern Idaho:
- Mountain: UTC-7/-6
42° N to 49° N;
111° W to 117° W
491 km
771 km
3,859 meters
1,524 meters
216 meters
ISO 3166-2:US-ID

Idaho is a state located in the northwestern United States. Its capital is Boise and the U.S. postal abbreviation is ID.

The USS Idaho was named in honor of this state.

Table of contents
1 Name
2 History
3 Law and government
4 Geography
5 Economy
6 Demographics
7 Important cities and towns
8 Education
9 Professional sports teams
10 Miscellaneous information
11 External links


Idaho is perhaps the only state to be named as the result of a hoax. When a name was being selected for the 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 territory was formally created in 1863.


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. The first organized town in Idaho was Franklin, settled in 1860 by Mormon pioneers. When organized as a territory in 1863, the 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 replaced Lewiston 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 (near Idaho Falls) to Moscow in northern Idaho. Idaho 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. Since in the late 1970's Boise has emerged as a center of semiconductor manufacturing. [1]

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.

The Governor of Idaho is Dirk Kempthorne (Republican) and the U.S. Senators are Larry E. Craig (Republican) and Mike Crapo (Republican).

See: List of Idaho Governors


See: List of Idaho counties

Idaho borders Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Montana, Wyoming 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.

Idaho's highest 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 Washington.


  • Sawtooth National Recreational Area
    • Redfish Lake
    • Alturas Lake
    • Petit Lake
    • Sawtooth Lake



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.

Important cities and towns

Population > 100,000 (urbanized area) (state capital)
Population > 10,000 (urbanized area)
Smaller Towns and Cities


Colleges and universities

Professional sports teams

The Minor League baseball teams are: Other minor league sports teams:

Miscellaneous information

Major highways

External links

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