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State of Idaho

ORIGIN OF STATE NAME: Apparently coined by a lobbyist-politician, George M. Willing, who claimed the word came from an Indian term meaning "gem of the mountains." NICKNAME: The Gem State. CAPITAL: Boise. ENTERED UNION: 3 July 1890 (43rd). SONG: "Here We Have Idaho." MOTTO: Esto perpetua (Let it be perpetual). FLAG: On a blue field with gilt fringe, the state seal appears in the center with the words "State of Idaho" on a red band below. OFFICIAL SEAL: With cornucopias at their feet, a female figure (holding the scales of justice in one hand and a pike supporting a liberty cap in the other) and a miner (with pick and shovel) stand on either side of a shield depicting mountains, rivers, forests, and a farm; the shield rests on a sheaf of grain and is surmounted by the head of a stag, above whose antlers is a scroll with the state motto. The words "Great Seal of the State of Idaho" surround the whole. BIRD: Mountain bluebird. HORSE: Appaloosa. FLOWER: Syringa. TREE: Western white pine. GEM: Star garnet. LEGAL HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., 3rd Monday in January; Washington's Birthday, 3rd Monday in February; Memorial Day, last Monday in May; Independence Day, 4 July; Labor Day, 1st Monday in September; Columbus Day, 2nd Monday in October; Veterans Day, 11 November; Thanksgiving Day, 4th Thursday in November; Christmas Day, 25 December. TIME: 5 AM MST = noon GMT; 4 AM PST = noon GMT.


Arrington, Leonard J. History of Idaho. Moscow, Idaho: University of Idaho Press, 1994.

Blew, Mary Clearman, ed. Written on Water: Essays on Idaho Rivers. Moscow: University of Idaho Press, 2001.

Domitz, Gary, and Leonard Hitchcock, eds. Idaho History: A Bibliography. Centennial ed. Pocatello, Idaho: Idaho State University Press, 1991.

Federal Writers' Project. Idaho: A Guide in Word and Picture. Reprint. New York: Somerset, n.d. (orig. 1937).

Johnston, Terry C. Lay the Mountains Low: the Flight of the Nez Perce from Idaho and the Battle of the Big Hole, August 9-10, 1877. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2000.

Peavey, Diane Josephy. Bitterbrush Country: Living on the Edge of the Land. Golden, Colo.: Fulcrum, 2001.

Spence, Clark C. For Wood River or Bust: Idaho's Silver Boom of the 1880s. Moscow, Idaho: University of Idaho Press; Boise, Idaho: Idaho State Historical Society, 1999.