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Idaho State News

On this day in History: Idaho Becomes the 43rd U.S. State

On July 3, 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed an act of Congress officially establishing Idaho as the 43rd state.

While the state has a robust and intriguing history, here are some interesting facts about Idaho:

  • It is believed that humans inhabited Idaho as long as 14,500 years ago.
  • Idaho’s land mass is twice as large as the six New England states combined.
  • Idaho produces more potatoes and trout than any other state in the nation.
  • It is known as the “Gem State” for the 72 types of precious and semi-precious stones found here, including garnet, opal, amethyst, sapphire, jade, and jasper.
  • It was the last of the U.S. states to be explored by European-Americans. Meriwether Lewis and members of the Corps of Discovery entered Idaho for the first time in 1805.
  • The state seal of Idaho is the only state seal in the United States designed by a woman.
  • Hell’s Canyon is North America’s deepest river gorge—even deeper than the Grand Canyon—with a width of ten miles and a depth of 7,913 feet below He Devil Peak in the Seven Devils Mountains.
  • Idaho’s State Capitol is the only capitol building in the nation heated by geothermal water from a source 3,000 feet below the ground. In operation since 1982, the water system currently heats about 1.5 million square feet within the Capitol Mall complex.
  • Rigby, Idaho, is known as the birthplace of television. Inventor Philo Farnsworth, who grew up there, reportedly sketched out the principle behind the technology for a high school science paper.