of the Rocky Mountains somewhere in the vicinity of Yellowstone Park made
by Pierre De la Verendrye, while in search of a western sea.
1803 The Louisiana Territory purchased by the United States from France
for $15 million.
1805 Lewis and Clark are the first white men to explore the Idaho region.
They enter through Lolo Pass on August 12 and cross the Bitterroot Range
on their way to the Pacific.
1806 Lewis and Clark spend more than six weeks with the Nez Perce Indians
in the Kamiah area before returning eastward across the Lolo Trail.
1809 David Thompson, a Canadian explorer, establishes a trading post,
Kullyspell House, for the North West Company at Pend Oreille Lake, near
Hope. Britain opens the first trading post in Idaho built for the Northwest
1810 Fort Henry is built at St. Anthony by Missouri Fur Company, first
American trading post.
David Thompson commences fur trade near Bonners Ferry.
1811 Pacific Fur Company expedition, the Astorians, explore the Snake
River Valley on their way to the Columbia River. Led by Wilson P. Hunt,
the westward journey discovers the Boise Valley.
1812 Donald Mackenzie establishes a winter fur trading post at Lewiston
for the Astorians.
1813 John Reid starts fur trading post on the lower Boise River.
1814 Bannock Indians wipe out John Reid's fur trading post on the lower
Mackenzie makes first exploration of southern Idaho with his Snake River
expedition of trappers.
Treaty of joint occupancy between Great Britain and the United States
leaves Oregon country (including Idaho) open to citizens of both nations.
Joint claim with Great Britain sets "The Oregon Country" as
being between 42 degrees North to 54 degrees 40 minutes North with the
Eastern boundry as the Continental Divide.
1819 -1820 Spain gives up its claim to Idaho. Treaty with Spain sets the
Northern border of Spanish claims at 42 degrees North. Relinquishing claims
to "The Oregon Country".
1823 Battle fought in Lemhi Valley between men of the Snake River country
expedition and the Piegan Indians.
1824 Alexander Ross and Jedediah Smith lead separate expeditions in exploring
much of the Salmon River country.
Peter Skene Ogden begins trapping in Idaho.
Russia cedes Northwest Territory to United States in a treaty.
1827 Rendezvous at Bear Lake for fur trading.
1829 Rendezvous held at Pierre's Hole, now known as the Teton basin, where
hundreds of mountain men and fur trappers congregated.
1830 Rendezvous with the Indians held on the Blackfoot River, where competition
in fur trading became intensely keen.
1831 Fur trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, led by Kit Carson,
winter on the Salmon River.
1832 Captain B.L.E. Bonneville leads the first crossing of the Rocky Mountains
in covered wagons. The company reaches the Lemhi River on September 19.
Rendezvous at Pierre's Hole.
Battle of Pierre's Hole occurs July 18 between American fur trappers and
the Grosventre Indians.
1834 Fort Hall, established by Americans under Captain Nathaniel Wyeth,
becomes a hub for trails and roads to the western parts of the United
Fort Boise erected by the Hudson Bay Company near the mouth of the Boise
1836 Presbyterian missionaries, Henry and Eliza Spalding build first mission
in Idaho at Lapwai Creek near Lewiston. They also erect the first sawmill
and gristmill. They teach farming methods to the Nez Perce Indians.
1837 First school in Idaho opens for Indian children at Lapwai.
First white child born in Idaho is Eliza Spalding born at Lapwai.
1839 Henry Spalding starts publishing the Bible in Lapwai on the earliest
printing press in the Pacific Northwest.
Chief Timothy, the first native Christian leader, baptized November 17.
1840 Father Pierre Jean de Smet begins missionary work in Idaho.
1842 Father Point establishes the Jesuit Coeur d' Alene Mission of the
Sacred Heart near Saint Maries. The Mission moves to a site near Cataldo
in 1846, and is transferred in 1877 to Desmet where it stands today.
1843 Provisional government is formed for the Oregon area, which included
present day Idaho.
Oregon Trail established in Idaho, which crossed the border near Montpelier,
passed by Fort Hall, then westward south of the Snake River to the ford
below Salmon Falls, then to Fort Boise, crossing the Snake River into
1846 Oregon Treaty, 08/05/1846. This treaty divided the Oregon country
between the United States and Canada. Treaty with Great Britain sets the
Northern boundry of "The Oregon Country" at 49 degrees North.
It granted to the United States land that would later comprise the entire
states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, as well as portions of Montana
and Wyoming. Pictured is the signature page and President Polk's proclamation
announcing the treaty.
Great Britain relinquish's claims to "The Oregon Country".
1848 The Cataldo Mission is established at Couer d' Alene by the Jesuits.
The mission is the oldest standing building in Idaho.
"The Oregon Country" organized as the Oregon Territory.
Washington Territory (Washington, Northern Idaho and NorthWest Montana)
created from Oregon Territory. Oregon Territory reorganized (Oregon, Southern
Idaho and WestCentral Wyoming).
Sacred Heart Mission established on the Coeur d'Alene River.
1849 Over 20,000 emigrants who join the gold rush come through southeastern
Idaho on the California Trail. Heavy traffic continues on the trail for
many years. U.S.
Military post established near Fort Hall.
1852 French Canadians discover gold on the Pend Oreille River.
1853 Construction of the Cataldo Mission completed.
Washington Territory established. Idaho divided between Washington and
1854 Twenty-one emigrants led by Alexander Ward massacred in Boise Valley
by the Snake River Indians. This event leads to the closing of Fort Boise
the next summer and Fort Hall in 1856.
1855 Mormons settle in eastern Idaho and build Fort Lemhi.
Fort Boise Closed
1856 Fort Hall Closed
1858 Mormons at Fort Lemhi irrigate the land to farm it, which upsets
the Indians. Bannock Indians attacked the Mormons at Fort Lemhi, killing
two and driving the remaining back to Utah.
1859 Oregon Territory dissolved and is admitted as a state, remainder
(Southern Idaho and WestCentral Wyoming) added to the Washington Territory.
1860 The Mormons return to Idaho and start its first permanent settlement
at Franklin. Idaho's oldest town, Franklin, is founded just north of the
Utah border on April 14.
Gold is discovered at Orofino Creek in August, leads to the establishment
of Idaho's oldest mining town, Pierce.
Miss Hannah Cornish starts the first school for white children in Idaho.
Mullan military wagon road built just north of Coeur d'Alene.
A bill to provide a temporary government for the territory of Idaho, 05/01/1860
Origin of state's name: Idaho is a coined or invented word, and is not
a derivation of an Indian phrase "E Dah Hoe (How)" supposedly
meaning "gem of the mountains.
Go Here to see a map of 1860
1862 Gold deposits are found in the Salmon and Boise Rivers. Fortune hunters
flock to the area, creating "boom towns". By
population explodes to 70,000 people.
First newspaper published in Idaho is the Golden Age in Lewiston
George Grimes and a party of prospectors establish the Boise Basin mines,
leads to the creation of Idaho City.
Packer John's Cabin built between New Meadows and McCall.
Gold discovered near present day Warren.
Congress organizes the Idaho Territory on March 3. It includes all of
Idaho, Montana, and parts of Wyoming. Its capital is Lewiston and its
governor is William Wallace. See the actual documents Here.
Idaho Territory organized, capital at Lewiston. President Lincoln signed
the act establishing the territory on March 4. See the 1863 Idaho Territory
Dakota Territory reorganized, North half of Wyoming and majority of Montana
added to the Idaho Territory.
Soda Springs founded by Colonel Conner.
Boise News of Idaho City issues first copy September 29.
Mining begins in the Owyhees.
Boise Barracks established at Moore Creek by Major P. Lugenbeel and the
The townsite of Boise laid out by merchants under the lead of Cyrus Jacobs.
First general election held October 31.
First county established: Owyhee County, December 31.
1864 See the 1864 Map Here
Montana is made into a separate territory. Montana Territory (Montana)
created from Idaho Territory. Idaho Territory reorganized (Idaho and North
half of Wyoming).
The capital of the Idaho Territory is moved to Boise. A resolution to
make Boise the capital passes December 7
Public school system established for the territory.
Julius Newburg Road completed in Elmore County September 7.
Ben Holliday establishes first stagecoach line.
The Idaho Statesman begins tri-weekly publication in Boise.
Ada, Alturas, Boise, Idaho, Kootenai, Lah-Toh, Nez Perce, Oneida and Shoshone
1865 Boise becomes the capital of Idaho.
J.M. Taylor and Robert Anderson erect bridge across Snake River near present
day Idaho Falls.
Boise-Rocky Bar stage begins operations, later extended to Silver City.
1866 Gold discovered at Leesburg in Lemhi County.
Survey of public lands begun, L.F. Cartee surveyor.
Congress passes Federal Lode Mining Act.
State of Columbia proposed by the Idaho legislature in a petition to Congress,
to include all the lands in western Montana, northern Idaho, and eastern
1867 Gutzon Borglum, Mount Rushmore sculptor, born in Bear Lake County
Bishop Tuttle, an Episcopal priest, arrives in Boise October 12.
Idaho Legislature repeals oath of allegiance to U.S., a riot commences
and Federal troops are called out. Lah-Toh County abolished, territory
annexed to Kootenai County.
1868 Idaho Territory reorganized into the Wyoming Territory (Wyoming)
and the Idaho Territory (Idaho).
1869 Lemhi County is organized
Statue of George Washington, carved from native wood by Charles Ostner,
is unveiled on the capitol grounds at Boise. Idaho
State Law Library established.
Placer gold strike made at Oro Grande.
Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads complete transcontinental
railway at Promontory Summit, Utah on May 10, improves transportation
Chinese workers flock to Idaho mines.
Fort Hall Indian Reservation set aside by President Grant for Shoshonis
and Bannocks of southern Idaho.
First telegraph office established at Franklin, linking the town with
Salt Lake City
1870 The Gold boom over, the population drops to about 15,000. Those remaining
are mostly farmers and ranchers.
Idaho population: 14,999 later census figure shows 17,804 as Utah-Idaho
border was not clearly established.
Caribou gold rush in southeastern Idaho.
1872 U.S. Assay office and Idaho prison completed.
Strike drives Chinese labor out of Owyhee mines.
1873 Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation set aside by President Grant for
the Coeur d'Alene and Spokane Indians.
1874 First railroad in Idaho: Utah Northern, to Franklin.
Idaho's first daily newspaper, The Owyhee Daily Avalanche, issued at Silver
City October 17.
Telegraph reaches Silver City.
1875 Lemhi Indian Reservation set aside by President Ulysses S. Grant
for Shoshonis, Bannocks, and Tukuarikas.
Bear Lake County created.
Bank failure ruins Silver City and South Mountain Mines.
1877 The Nez Perce War is fought between the Federal troops and the Nez
Perce Indians lead by Chief Joseph. The Nez Perce are defeated and forced
to move onto the Lapwai Indian Reservation.
National Desert Land Act passed by Congress for reclaiming land by irrigation.
Nez Perce Indian War: Warriors under Chief Joseph's command went on warpath
after the government opened to settlement the Wallowa Valley in Oregon.
Battles fought at White Bird - June 14th through 29th. Battle of Clearwater
fought July 11 and 12. Fighting then moved into Montana. The war ended
on October 5 with the surrender of Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce.
Duck Valley Indian Reservation set aside by President Hayes for the Shoshonis
Bannock War between the Bannock Indians under Chief Buffalo Horn and the
federal troops, is fought. They are also defeated.
Bannock Indian War: Bannocks led by Chief Buffalo Horn, and Paiutes led
by Chief Egan, went on the warpath when the United States Government opened
the Camas Prairie, which had been reserved for the Indians. Battles fought
at South Mountain and Bennett Creek.
1879 The Sheepeater Indian War: Renegade Bannocks and Tukuarika Indians
go on warpath. Indians hide out in the hills of central Idaho subsisting
on sheep they kill during their raids. Battles fought at Big Creek and
Loon Creek. Indians surrender September 1.
Utah Northern railroad completed within Idaho on its path from Salt Lake
City to Helena, Montana.
Cassia and Washington counties created.
1880 Idaho population: 32,619.
Discovery of lead-silver lodes in the Wood River area, the rush to Bellevue,
Hailey and Ketchum transforms southcentral Idaho.
The Boise and Lewiston Independent School Districts created.
North Idaho Annexation political party forms to counteract the powerful
1881 Historical Society of Idaho Pioneers forms to collect and preserve
a reliable history of the early settlement of the territory.
The Hailey Times begins daily publication.
Wells Fargo office established at Challis. Custer County created.
Earthquake centered 20 miles east of Mount Idaho August 9.
1882 Northern Pacific railroad completed across the northern part of the
Construction began on the New York Canal in Ada County.
1883 First telephone service in Idaho commenced at Hailey October 1.
Rexburg is founded.
Oregon Short Line completed through southern Idaho.
1884 One of the worlds richest silver (and lead) deposits are found in
the Coeur d' Alene Mountains. Coeur d'Alene gold rush, followed by Tiger
and Polaris mines opening lead-silver operations.
The Oregon Short Line arrives in Ketchum August 19.
Freight and passenger service begins on Coeur d'Alene Lake.
Oregon Short Line reaches Weiser, connecting Idaho to the Pacific coast.
Wallace is founded.
1885 The legislature approves construction of Territorial Capitol building
at an expense of $80,000.
Test Oath Act adopted by legislature, designed to bar Mormons from voting
and holding public office.
Legislature locates insane asylum at Blackfoot.
Famous poet Ezra Pound born at Hailey October 30.
Bingham County created.
Bunker Hill and Sullivan mines begin operation.
1886 Utah Northern merges with Oregon Short Line and joins Union Pacific
Separate bills to annex north Idaho to Washington Territory pass each
chamber of Congress, but are not reconciled.
Construction on the Territorial Capitol completed.
Nampa city platted.
1887 Electric light plant goes into operation at Hailey to supply power
for territory's first electric lights.
Wardner miner's union established after wage reductions at Bunker Hill
and Sullivan mines.
Compulsory education law passed.
A bill to annex north Idaho to Washington Territory passes Congress, but
is not signed by President Cleveland and does not become law.
1888 Ricks Academy, now known as Ricks College, established in Rexburg.
Latah County created by U.S. Congress.
1889 The state constitution is written in Boise.
As a conciliatory move to keep north Idaho from seceding, the Territorial
legislature locates the University of Idaho at Moscow.
Constitutional convention composed of sixty-eight members meet at Boise
July 4 and after laboring twenty-eight days, forms and adopts constitution
for the state of Idaho August 6. Constitution is ratified by the people
on November 5 by a vote of 12,398 to 1,773.
Fire in Hailey causes $750,000 worth of damage.
Elmore county created.
enters the Union as the 43rd state, July 3, signed into law by President
Population grows from 32,610 in 1880 to 88,548.
Great Northern Railroad completed across the northern part of the state
Congress passes Federal Forest Reserve Act.
First legislative and statewide elections held.
First session of the Idaho Legislature meets.
1891 Great Seal of the State of Idaho, a design drawn by Miss Emma Edwards,
with the Latin motto "Esto Perpetua" adopted. Her Flag:
A silk flag, blue field, five feet six inches fly, and four feet four
inches on pike, bordered with gilt fringe two and one-half inches in width,
with state seal of Idaho twenty-one inches in diameter, in colors, in
the center of a blue field. The words "State of Idaho" are embroidered
in with block letters, two inches in height on a red band three inches
in width by twenty-nine inches in length, the band being in gold and placed
about eight and one-half inches from the lower border of fringe and parallel
with the same.
Idaho forest reserves created.
Boise's electric street railway commences operation on August 22.
College of Idaho opens in Caldwell October 9.
Canyon and Alta counties created
President Benjamin Harrison plants Water Oak on capitol grounds.
1892 Violence and labor disputes break out between the miners and the
mine owners in Coeur D' Alene region. Mines are dynamited, and martial
law is declared by the governor, N.B. Willey. Martial law commenced in
the Coeur d'Alenes on July 14 following the dynamiting of the Frisco Mill
Hundreds of miners are arrested in Shoshone County
High freight rates and low silver prices close Coeur d'Alene mines January
The Farmers Alliance and the Knights of Labor organize the Idaho Populist
Party in Boise May 26.
University of Idaho opens October 3.
Idaho Education Association organized.
Timber and Stone Act passes Congress, paving way for commercial timber
industry in Idaho.
1893 The "Panic of '93" lead and silver prices collapsed, Coeur
d'Alene mines shut down.
Western Federation of Miners formed.
Office of State Mine Inspector established.
Idaho State Medical Society founded September 12.
State Wool Growers Association started at Mountain Home September 25.
First state game laws enacted.
State Normal Schools (Colleges of Education) established at Lewiston and
Legislature enacts state wagon roads to connect north and south Idaho.
Bannock and Fremont counties created.
1894 The Carey Act is passed, makes possible reclamation of Snake River
Valley, which will lead to over 200,000 acres of land in Idaho being irrigated
by 1909, and tremendous help for farmers and ranchers.
Albion Normal School opens January 8. Nez Perce Indian Reservation allotted
to the Indians.
Gold discovered in the Thunder Mountain country.
1895 Comprehensive irrigation law, providing for uniform use of public
water, enacted on March 9.
Lincoln and Blaine counties created.
1896 Lewiston Normal School dedicated June 3.
Idaho becomes first in the nation in production of lead.
Montpelier bank robbed by Butch Cassidy August 13.
Idaho Legislature calls on Congress to extend the right to vote to women.
Idaho Republicans split, Silver Republicans endorse William Jennings Bryan
Clashes between sheep and cattle industries culminate in the murder of
sheepherders allegedly by "Diamondfield" Jack Davis
Cassia County created.
1897 President Grover Cleveland establishes Bitterroot Forest Reserve
which includes much of north Idaho.
Legislature acts to protect bison within the state.
State Board of Medical Examiners established to regulate the practice
Idaho regiment of military volunteers called into service for the Philippine
insurrection of the Spanish-American War.
Fort Hall Indian Reservation allotted to the Indians in parcels of 160
acres each, with the balance to be sold for the Indians' benefit.
1899 More violence occurs in the mines. Most of the mine owners now recognized
the Western Federation of Miners (WFM) Union. Union organizers call for
a strike against two companies (Bunker Hill and Sullivan) who refuse to
pay union wages. Another mine is blown up.
Governor Frank Steunenberg calls in the federal troops to arrest and suppress
riot in the Coeur d'Alene mining district following the dynamiting of
the Bunker Hill and Sullivan concentratorthe miners. Hundreds are arrested
and kept in large outdoor prisons called bullpens. The WFM is broken by
this by the time the Coeur D' Alene mine reopens. This caused the governor
to be hated by the miners, and was killed in 1905 by a bomb.
Position of State Fish and Game Warden created.
1900 - Idaho
New York Canal completed.
Democrats, Silver Republicans and Populists arrange party fusion for 1900
Idaho State Dairymen's Association organized.
Idaho Falls incorporated.
1901 - The Free Traveling Library (now known as the Idaho State Library)
The Academy of Idaho (now Idaho State University) opens in Pocatello.
1902 - After concluding that Diamondfield Jack Davis had been convicted
by mistake, in a case growing out of the most notable incident of the
Idaho sheep and cattle wars, the State Board of Pardons turned him loose.
National Reclamation Act passed, provides for federal aid for irrigation.
1903 - Idaho's hunting and fishing licensing system began.
The Idaho Industrial Training School founded at St. Anthony as a reform
school for children.
First Carey Act land opening at Shoshone.
Miller Dam on Snake River opens Twin Falls area to irrigated farming.
President Theodore Roosevelt plants maple tree on capitol grounds.
1904 - City of Twin Falls platted.
Chief Joseph dies September 21.
1905 - Construction of a new capitol building in Boise authorized at a
cost of $1,000,000.
Insane asylum established at Orofino.
The first train arrives at Twin Falls August 7.
Sawtooth National Forest created.
Former Governor Frank Steunenberg assassinated December 30.
1906 - Steunenberg assassin Harry Orchard implicates three leaders of
the Western Federation of Miners in the plot.
The largest sawmill in the United States begins operation at Potlatch.
Pioneer Monument at capitol grounds erected.
"Steward Decree" adjudicates water rights along the Boise River.
1907 - William E. Borah elected to the U.S. Senate, where he gains an
international reputation during thirty-three years of service.
William D. Haywood is found not guilty of conspiracy and the assassination
of Frank Steunenberg, at the end of an internationally celebrated trial,
Harry Orchard sentenced to life in prison for the assassination.
Idaho State Flag adopted.
Idaho Historical Society founded.
Bonner and Twin Falls County created.
1908 - The Idaho revised code published.
Under President Roosevelt's forest reserve policy, one-half of the state
is organized into National Forest reserves.
Lake Lowell completed.
Idaho adopts direct primary and local option over regulation of liquor.
Minidoka Dam completed.
State Parks established at Heyburn, Shoshone Falls, and Payette Lake.
Allotment of Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation.
Provisions for rural high school districts established.
1910 - Idaho population: 325,594.
Devastating forest fire consumes 1/6 of north Idaho's forests, destroying
State banking and highway district laws enacted.
Buckeye tree planted on the capitol grounds by President William Howard
Taft October 9. Search and seizure law enacted for enforcing liquor laws.
Idaho State Sanitarium (now known as the Idaho State School and Hospital)
located at Nampa.
Adams, Bonneville, Clearwater and Lewis counties created.
Revised revenue laws enacted, providing a new system of assessment, equalization,
levy and collection of taxes.
Constitutional amendments adopted authorizing initiative, referendum,
State Board of Education established to supervise all levels of education
within the state of Idaho.
1913 - Public Utilities Commission established.
Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa founded.
First motor vehicle laws enacted by the legislature.
Comprehensive system of revenue for state, county, municipal and school
School for the Deaf and Blind opens in Gooding.
Franklin, Gooding, Jefferson, Madison, Minidoka and Power counties created.
1914 - Moses Alexander elected first Jewish governor in the United States.
1915 - Arrowrock
Columbia and Snake River improvements for navigation to Lewiston completed.
Second Idaho Regiment of Infantry Volunteers organized into service at
the call of President Woodrow Wilson for the Mexican Border War.
The Academy of Idaho (now Idaho State University) becomes the Idaho Technical
Idaho Horse and Cattle Association organized, later to become the Idaho
Benewah, Boundary, Gem and Teton counties created.
1916 - Constitutional amendment for statewide prohibition ratified.
State highway program begins as part of the national good roads movement.
1917 - Statewide prohibition goes into effect January 1.
Workmen's Compensation System and State Insurance Fund established.
Annual state fair established at Boise.
Ricks Academy becomes a college and is accredited by the State Board of
Butte, Camas, Payette and Valley counties created.
1918 - Non-Partisan League takes over Idaho Democratic primary September
3, subsequently Idaho's primary nominating system is abandoned for twelve
1919 - Administrative
consolidation enacted by legislature.
Functions of fifty-one departments, boards and bureaus placed under nine
administrative departments responsible to the governor.
Bureau of Highways created to inaugurate a state highway system.
Bureau of Constabulary organized May 18, with Department of Law Enforcement.
First Music Week held in Boise.
Lava Hot Springs established by Department of Public Welfare.
City of Jerome incorporated.
Jerome, Clark, and Caribou counties created.
1920 - Idaho population: 431,866.
Agricultural prices begin to deteriorate, creating a crisis which continues
through the 1920's.
Whitebird Hill grade, connecting north and south Idaho opens.
State Capitol completed.
Idaho Wheat Growers Association formed.
Constitutional amendment increases State Supreme Court from three to five
1922 - State budget system established.
Radio broadcasting begins in Idaho with station KFAU located at Boise
High School under the direction of Harry Redeker.
1924 - Craters of the Moon National Monument established.
Black Canyon Dam completed.
1925 - Union Pacific Railroad begins service to Boise.
State Forestry Board established.
William E. Borah becomes Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
1926 - The Idaho State Chamber of Commerce organized.
Federal air service came to the Northwest with a Pasco, Washington to
Elko, Nevada flight with a stop in Boise.
1927 - American Falls Dam completed.
Perrine Memorial Bridge at Twin Falls completed. Palisades Reservoir created.
Idaho Technical Institute in Pocatello redesignated the University of
Idaho Southern Branch.
1928 - Restoration of the "Old Mission" church near Cataldo
Commercial radio broadcasting begins in Idaho with the purchase of KFAU
from Boise High School and renamed KIDO.
1930 - Idaho population: 445,032.
1931 - The
direct primary restored for statewide offices.
State income tax adopted.
U.S. Forest Service, in cooperation with the state Legislature, create
the Idaho Primitive Area.
Legislature adopts "Here We Have Idaho" as state song, the syringa
the official flower, and the Rocky Mountain Bluebird the state bird.
1932 - Nonpartisan election of judges to Supreme Court and District Courts
The Idaho Code annotated published.
Six million dollar Owyhee Dam dedicated.
Association of Idaho Veterans of Foreign Wars organized.
Boise Junior College opens.
1933 - School Equalization Law adopted.
North Idaho Junior College established at Coeur d'Alene.
1934 - Sandpoint Bridge completed.
Taylor Grazing Act passes U.S. Congress. Central and northern Idaho experience
large mining developments for gold and silver.
Idaho becomes first in the nation in silver production.
1935 - Statewide prohibition repealed and State adopts Liquor Dispensary
Indian children begin integration into public school system.
State employment service established.
Two percent sales tax enacted, but rejected by voters in referendum in
Legislature provides for purchase of the site of Spalding Mission as a
Martial law declared in Teton County to put down a rebellion of pea pickers.
1936 - Sun Valley established as a ski resort by the Union Pacific Railway
Martial law declared in Clearwater County during I.W.W. lumber strike.
Celebration held in Lewiston to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the
founding of Spalding Mission.
In March, William E. Borah became Idaho's first Presidential candidate.
1937 - Open primary system does away with requirement for declaration
of party affiliation.
1938 - Paving
of the north-south highway (U.S. 95) completed.
Fish and Game Commission established by initiative.
Idaho Senator James P. Pope sponsors Agricultural Adjustment Act.
1939 - State Junior College district law enacted.
Idaho State Police established March 13.
1940 - Idaho population: 524,873.
Senator William E. Borah dies January 19.
Legislation creating a position of Comptroller to be appointed by the
Governor, and taking away many powers of the State Auditor, ruled unconstitutional
by the Courts.
1941 - Gowen Field completed south of Boise and becomes a military air
J.R. Simplot food dehydrator begins operations in Caldwell.
1942 - Farragut Naval Training Station established at Lake Pend Oreille.
A Pocatello army air base and gun relining plant established.
Japanese-Americans placed in internment camps at Hunt.
Two anti-liquor initiatives rejected by the voters.
Mountain Home Air Base site was approved.
1944 - Mountain Home Army Air Field officially opened.
1945 - State
Tax Commission established.
Idaho's first phosphate processing plant constructed by the J.R. Simplot
1946 - Most recent Idaho Code published.
A teacher's retirement system established.
Election of Idaho's governor and other state officials for four-year terms
Two anti-liquor initiatives and an anti-gambling initiative defeated.
1947 - A state school reorganization plan enacted.
University of Idaho Southern Branch at Pocatello becomes Idaho State College.
State Board of Corrections established.
Idaho State Archives established.
1948 - Bureau of Reclamation begins plans to construct a Hell's Canyon
dam in the Snake River for flood control.
Idaho Senator Glen Taylor runs for Vice-President on Progressive Party
1949 - National Reactor Testing Station near Arco established.
1950 - Idaho
State Highway Department established with provisions for nonpolitical
1951 - Nuclear electric power developed at the National Reactor Testing
State teacher's colleges at Lewiston and Albion are closed.
1952 - Anderson Ranch Dam completed.
1953 - Television
comes to Idaho with KIDO-TV (now KTVB) in Boise July 12.
C.J. Strike Dam dedicated.
Supreme Court rules against Idaho law legalizing slot machines and other
1954 - Submarine reactor tested and perfected at the National Reactor
Voters approve initiative to regulate dredge mining.
1955 - State Department of Commerce and Development established.
Lewis-Clark Normal opens at Lewiston.
Lucky Peak Dam dedicated July 6.
The Atomic Energy Commission lights Arco with electricity generated by
1956 - Construction of Palisades Dam completed.
Construction in Idaho of the National Interstate Highway System commenced.
Constitutional amendment ratified to permit a governor to succeed himself
1958 - Boise-Stanley Highway Association established.
Voters defeat "Right to Work" initiative.
1959 - Brownlee Dam completed on the Snake River.
1960 - Idaho
Seven month strike at Bunker Hill Mine.
July and August forest fires in Hells Canyon and Idaho City area.
State employee group insurance system established.
1961 - Oxbow Dam completed on Snake River.
W.A. Harriman and E. Rolland Harriman provided that their holdings at
Railroad Ranch eventually become a state park, providing that the state
establish a professionally managed park system.
Ernest Hemingway dies in Ketchum July 2.
1962 - Lewis and Clark highway (U.S. 12) in the Lochsa Canyon completed.
1963 - Legislative
Idaho State College in Pocatello attains University status.
Lewis-Clark Normal becomes a four year college.
Horse Racing Act, to permit pari-mutuel betting, becomes law over Governor's
veto (first override in twenty years).
Idaho celebrates Territorial Centennial.
1964 - Combined convention and primary system implemented, parties attempt
to restrict the number of state primary candidates appearing on the ballot.
Federal Court ends Bible reading in Boise public schools.
1965 - State parks department, water resource board, and personnel system
Nez Perce National Historic Park established in north-central Idaho.
Boise Junior College given 4-year status.
1966 - Governor Smylie defeated for 4th term.
Voters uphold 3 percent sales tax in referendum.
Northern Pacific ends passenger service between Lewiston and Spokane.
1967 - Legislative Compensation Commission established.
International Boy Scout Jamboree held at Farragut State Park.
1968 - Hell's Canyon Dam completed.
1969 - Annual
legislative sessions commence.
1970 - Idaho
Voters reject proposed revision of Idaho Constitution.
Voters pass strict legislative pay initiative.
National Farmers Organization stages 120 vehicle caravan to Boise to protest
1971 - Legislature enacts a stream protection law. Last log drive on the
Rail passenger service ends May 1 for all places in Idaho except Sandpoint.
Fire destroys $25,000 worth of property during a riot at the Idaho State
1972 - New Idaho uniform probate code goes into effect.
Idaho voters return to open primary system.
Sawtooth National Recreation Area established, includes the Sawtooth Wilderness
Dworshak Dam completed.
Constitutional amendment adopted requiring state government reorganization
into no more than 20 agencies.
Fire at the Sunshine Mine in Kellogg takes the lives of 91 men.
1973 - U.S. Congress passes a bill to replace the deteriorating American
Boise State College attains university status.
1974 - State agencies reorganized into 19 departments.
Kootenai Indians in northern Idaho declare war on the U.S. government
to gain money and land.
Voters pass the Sunshine Initiative to require lobbyist registration and
political campaign disclosure.
Evel Knievel fails in attempt to ride his "Skycycle" across
the Snake River canyon near Twin Falls.
1975 - Presidential preference primary to be held on the fourth Tuesday
of May adopted.
White Bird Hill bypass opens June 16.
Legislature passes Local Planning and Zoning Act.
New prison opens south of Boise.
Port of Lewiston opens.
1976 - Hells Canyon bill creates the scenic Hells Canyon National Recreation
Area, and bans construction of hydroelectric projects in the canyon.
Senator Frank Church becomes a candidate for President, the first Idahoan
since William E. Borah in 1936.
The 310 foot high Teton Dam collapses in southeastern Idaho, killing 11
and forcing 300,000 people to flee their homes.
Constitutional amendment creates Citizens Committee on Legislative Compensation.
The Public Utilities Commission rejects proposal by Idaho Power Company
to build an electric coal-fired power plant between Boise and Mountain
1977 - Governor Cecil D. Andrus resigns to become Secretary of the Interior.
Legislature rescinds their 1972 ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Many Idaho counties declared disaster areas due to severe drought.
Boise, Nampa, Mountain Home, Shoshone, and Pocatello become stops on Amtrak's
1978 - President Jimmy Carter floats the River of No Return in central
Voters pass initiative limiting property taxes to 1 percent of market
Pocatello businessman Bill Barlow wins U.S. Supreme Court decision against
Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
1979 - An investigation by the Idaho Statesman reveals that plutonium
had been injected into the Snake River plain aquifer at the Idaho National
Senator Frank Church becomes Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign
1980 - Idaho population: 944,038.
An 18 hour riot at the Idaho State Prison results in $2 million in damages.
Mount St. Helens erupts, covers north Idaho with volcanic ash.
Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus, by executive order, expands the Birds
of Prey Natural Area from 31,000 to 482,640 acres.
Congress approves the Central Idaho Wilderness Act, establishing the 2.2
million acre River of No Return Wilderness.
Congressman Steve Symms defeats Senator Frank Church in the most expensive
campaign in Idaho history with over $4 million spent by the candidates
and independent committees.
1981 - Senator James McClure becomes Chairman of the Senate Committee
on Energy and Natural Resources.
Keith F. Nyborg, a rancher from Ashton, is appointed ambassador to Finland
by President Reagan.
"Rabbit Drives" in southeastern Idaho create controversy between
animal protection groups and farmers whose crops are devastated by wild
Gulf Resources and Chemical of Houston, Texas announced the closure of
the 98-year-old Bunker Hill Mine and Smelter in Kellogg.
1982 - Legislature outlaws insanity plea for defendants - first in nation.
Voters pass record eight constitutional amendments and three initiatives.
Governor Evans puts most state employees on 4-day work week for two months
to lower projected budget deficit.
Harriman State Park dedicated July 17.
Fugitive Christopher Boyce, convicted of selling national security secrets
to the Soviet Union, is captured near Bonners Ferry.
1983 - Legislature imposes temporary 4 1/2 percent sales tax to cover
state deficit. Eagle Island State Park dedicated June 25.
State Supreme Court declares current legislative apportionment unconstitutional
because it divides counties.
Several north Idaho local governments pass resolutions to secede from
southern Idaho and form a new state.
An earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale, kills two children and
causes four million dollars worth of damage on October 28. The quake,
centered in the Lost River Valley, was the largest in the continental
United States in 24 years and left a 10-foot high, 15 mile long shear.
1984 - Supreme Court imposes 42 member Senate, 84 member House in legislative
Christin Cooper of Ketchum wins silver medal in the women's giant slalom
at the Olympic games in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.
Harmon Killebrew of Payette is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Permanent sales tax set at 4 percent.
Legislature approves Education Reform bill, allocating $20 million to
improve teacher salaries statewide.
Former Senator Frank Church dies April 7.
U.S. Representative George Hansen defeated for reelection by Richard Stallings
in closest Idaho congressional race in history - 170 votes.
Populist Party sues for and obtains ballot status on November 6 general
Wallace celebrates centennial.
Idaho Power Company and the State of Idaho reach agreement on Snake River
Basin water rights.
1985 - Shortest Legislative session in 12 years - 66 days.
Department of Commerce established.
National Governor's Conference held in Boise.
Jimmy Jausoro, a Basque musician from Boise is one of 12 folk artists
nationwide (and the first Idahoan ever) to receive a prestigious 1985
National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Pocatello citizens vote to remove council-manager system of city government
Potlatch Corporation closes lumber mills at Lewiston and Jaype (near Pierce),
affecting 1,200 workers.
Over six million acres of Idaho rangeland are sprayed with pesticides
to battle grasshopper infestation.
1986 - Claude Dallas, convicted in 1982 for killing two Idaho Fish &
Game Wardens, escapes from the Idaho State Penitentiary March 30.
He is recaptured March 8, 1987 outside a convenience store in Riverside,
Voters retain right-to-work law in referendum; also approve state lottery
1987 - Permanent sales tax at 5 percent.
Legislature passes mandatory daycare licensing and tort reform legislation.
Dry winter leads to severe summer drought.
1988 - Voters pass constitutional amendment removing prohibition against
legislature authorizing a state lottery.
1989 - First
state lottery tickets sold July 19th.
Worst forest fires since 1910, burn thousands of acres in south central
Idaho, partially destroying town of Lowman.
1990 - Idaho Population: 1,006,749.
Idaho celebrates Statehood Centennial - July 3.
Senator James McClure retires from U.S. Senate.
Idaho State Senate split - 21 Democrats and 21 Republicans.
1991 - Kirby Dam collapses near Atlanta, cutting off electrical power
to residents and dumping arsenic, mercury and cadmium into the Middle
Fork of the Boise River.
Drought persists through fifth consecutive year.
1992 - Fire on the second and third floors of the State Capitol on January
1st caused 3.2 million dollars in damage.
Worst forest fire season in Idaho's recorded history.
Randy Weaver and Kevin Harris surrender to federal officials on August
31st following a shootout and eleven day standoff at Weaver's Boundary
County cabin that left one U.S. deputy marshall and Weaver's wife and
Linda Copple Trout becomes the first woman appointed to the Idaho Supreme
1993 - Normal winter and spring precipitation help to alleviate the drought.
Kevin Harris acquitted of all charges and Randy Weaver convicted on minor
charges following a 60-day federal trial stemming from the 1992 shootout
with federal officials in Boundary County.
1994 - Ezra Taft Benson, native of Whitney, Idaho, died on May 30.
Benson had served as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from 1953 to 1961 and
head of the Mormon Church since 1985.
Summer wildfires burn approximately 750,000 acres.
Picabo Street wins silver medal in downhill skiing during the Olympic
games in Lillehammer, Norway.
Idaho ranks third nationwide in percentage population growth after the
state added another 33,000 residents.
1995 - Phil Batt sworn in as the first republican governor in twenty-five
Legislature creates the Department of Juvenile Justice.
Picabo Street becomes first American to win World Cup downhill title.
Nuclear waste agreement signed.
First year of five years in a row of normal or above normal water/snowpack.
1996 - Major flooding in north Idaho.
President Clinton visits Boise to discuss flooding.
1997 - New Year's day floods in the Weiser and Payette River drainages
of southwestern Idaho.
Town of Banks condemned by federal government following mudslides.
1998 - Idaho darling, Picabo Street, wins gold medal in giant slalom at
Olympic winter games.
1999 - First
shipment of nuclear waste leaves INEEL for permanent storage at the federal
Waste Isolation Pilot Project in New Mexico.
Population: 1,211,537. Largest wildfires in recent history, 559,183 acres
burn in Salmon-Challis National Forest, Payette National Forest and Bureau
of Land Management, Idaho Falls District.
filed suit against federal Grizzly Bear reintroduction plan. U.S. Dept
of Labor grants $1 Million to aid displaced Jaype mill workers. Twenty-four
Idaho counties declared drought disaster areas. Governor orders 2% holdback
for state agencies and 1.5% holdback for public schools in response to
softening economy. Sawmill closings in Cascade and Horseshoe Bend leave
only one mill south of the Salmon River. Largest salmon runs since 1978.
of the potato processing plant in Heyburn.
legislative session in history - 118 days. Sales tax goes to 6 percent.
Expansion of Boise municipal airport.
2004 On July
3rd Governor Kempthorne dedicates the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery. 612,786
ballots were cast in the November 2004 General Election, the highest number
ever. J.R. and Esther Simplot donate residence above Bogus Basin Road
to state as mansion for the governor, giving Idaho an official governor's
residence for the first time in 15 years. The Idaho National Guard's 116th
Brigade Combat Team called up for yearlong mission in northern Iraq, about
1,700 Idaho soldiers are part of the 4,300 member brigade.
2005 90 Marine
Corps reservists in Company C, 4th Tank Battalion, 5th marine Division
based at Gowen Field are deployed to Iraq. About 15 Boise-based Army reservists
with the 321st Engineer Battalion based in Fort Lewis, WA are in the Middle
East. 100 members of the 124th Wing of the Idaho Air National Guard, including
more than 20 members of the 189th Airlift Squadron, are deployed to assignments
in the Persian Gulf. Nez Perce water agreement has passed Congress and
Idaho legislature. This legislation ratifies a 30-year agreement, which
calls for the Nez Perce to drop their claims to nearly all the water in
the Snake River Basin. In exchange, the Tribe would have annual rights
to 50,000 acre-feet of water from the Clearwater River, plus $80 million
in cash. Hydrologists with the Idaho Department of Water Resources say
lack of precipitation could make 2005 one of the worst on record. Sales
tax reverts to 5 percent on July 1st.
2006 In January,
Albertsons. Inc. agrees to sell the company to Minnesota-based Super-Valu
Inc. and CVS Corp. During the Legislative Session, homeowners property
tax exemption is raised from $50,000 to $75,000. In March, President Bush
nominates Governor Dirk Kempthorne to be U.S. Secretary of Interior. Following
confirmation hearings in May, Kempthorne heads to Washington, leaving
Jim Risch at the helm in Idaho. In June, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival
celebrates the opening of its 30th season. In August, Cabelas opens
its first store in Boise. In November, the Rolling Stones play a sold-out
show at the Idaho Center. Also in November, Boise State Broncos end their
regular season with a 12-0 record, landing them a place in the Fiesta
State Broncos win the Fiesta Bowl. Senator Larry Craigs arrest becomes
the biggest news story of the year. Governor C.L. Butch Otter
and lawmakers temporarily halt work on the Idaho Capital expansion until
a compromise is reached to scale back the underground wings to half their
Obama visits Boise in February and draws a crowd of 14,000. Federal protections
for gray wolves were lifted in March, but a federal judge rules the delisting
plan flawed in July. At the end of the year the future of wolf management
is still uncertain. Sales slumped for auto dealers as gasoline prices
reach $4 per gallon over the summer. The dour economy resulted in at least
44,000 workers without jobs in November
Rees, John E., B. Sc. Idaho Chronology Nomenclature Bibliography (Chicago:
W.B. Conkey Company, 1918). Permission to reprint from Gov. Kempthorne
for the IDGenWeb Project (2005).