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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Idaho: Rugged Beauty

This Day in History: July 3, 1890

Idaho, the Gem State or the Gem of the Mountains, the Spud State, Little Ida

When you hear someone mention Idaho, what are your first thoughts?

 Why Idaho Potatoes?

Don't stop here! Venture into the rugged beauty of Idaho beyond the famous potato!

The Idaho motto was adopted in 1891 and is expressed in Latin as "Esto perpetua" which means:
How Idaho Got Its Name: Idaho is an invented word! It is not from the Indian language. The name was made up by a politician and he was not an Indian! Mining lobbyist George M. Willing presented the name "Idaho" to congress for a new territory around Pike's Peak, claiming it was a Shoshone Indian word meaning "Gem of the Mountains." By the time the deception was discovered, the name "Idaho" was already in common use.
Shoshone Falls: Niagara Falls of the West
Aerial America: Idaho
Soar over a state with much more to offer than just potatoes! This state contains millions of acres of untamed land, great ancient spines of stone, and the deepest canyon in America. Idaho's past is as rich as its volcanic soil and this tour over the Gem State reveals unique visual treasures. From Hemingway's haven to Hell's Canyon, and from the world's first atomic city to the birth of the potato boom, discover the beauty and history of Idaho.
On March 4, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed an act creating Idaho Territory from portions of Washington Territory and Dakota Territory with its capital at Lewiston. The original Idaho Territory included most of the areas that later became the states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Idaho, as part of the Oregon Country, was claimed by both the United States and Great Britain until the United States gained undisputed jurisdiction in 1846. Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state.

  Idahois a state in the northwestern region of the United States

Idaho State Gemstone: Star Garnet
There are only two places in the world you can find Star Garnets - India and in the USA on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests! The garnets found here are called "star garnets" because of a unique property that causes some of them to display a reflection like a four or six pointed star.
Mountain bluebird, photo by Elaine R. Wilson / Wikipedia.org
(use permitted with attribution / share alike).
Idaho State Bird:  Mountain Bluebird
The lovely mountain bluebird (Sialia arctcia) was designated the official state bird of Idaho in 1931. Idaho recognizes two bird symbols (the peregrine falcon is the official state raptor).

Do you recall Maine, Maryland and Massachusetts have a state cat, Maryland also has a state dinosaur, West Virginia has a state rattlesnake and Virginia has a state bat? Now add one more to the list: Idaho has a state RAPTOR!

Idaho State Raptor: Peregrine Falcon
A raptor is a bird of prey. The Peregrine Falcon is commonly referred to as the Duck Hawk. Peregrine Falcons are the fastest-flying birds in the world – they are able to dive at 200 miles per hour.
Syringa flowers (Philadelphus lewisii); photo by Laurel Parshall on Flickr
(nonprofit use permitted with attribution / share alike).
  Idaho State Flower: Syringa
Though the state did not officially make the syringa the Idaho state flower until 1931, in reality the flower became the Gem State’s floral emblem much earlier: in the 1890s, syringa was depicted on the Great Seal of the State of Idaho, growing at the feet of a female goddess. Several years later it represented Idaho in a floral display at the 1893 World’s Exposition in Chicago.
For all State Symbols of Idaho click HERE!

 Idaho State Folk Dance: Square Dance

Idaho designated the square dance as the official state American Folk Dance 1989. Twenty-two states have passed legislation to declare the square dance as the "state folk dance."

Song of Idaho" is not the official State song, but is known as "the People's song" for the state. Words and music by John J. Cline and Randall Coryell. Sung by The Idaho Singers.

State Anthem of Idaho US: Here we Have Idaho

 Rugged Beauty

[Click each image for its source.]

Late Afternoon - Sawtooth National Recreation Area
Land of rugged beauty
Warm days, cool nights
 More than just Idaho potatoes
Awe-inspiring sights


Primed for adventure
Untouched, wild outdoors
Amid sheer wilderness
Whitewater underscores


Emerald green hillsides
Timbered mountains, pristine lakes
 Wide-open vistas, distant views
A unique scene each makes


Gem of the mountains
 Veins of gold, silver, zinc, lead
Rare stone, secret jewel
Star garnets rest in a stream bed


A character all its own
Beyond the famous potato
Unhurried, unspoiled, unassuming
That's the rugged beauty of Idaho

©2014 Awakenings
Sharla Lee Shults

Idaho Facts and Trivia

Next state by month: #44 Wyoming - July 10, 1890