Monday, March 4, 2013

Idaho Celebrates Territorial Sesquicentennial (150 Years) – Kick-Off Today, 12:00 noon, Capitol Building, Boise

In 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed the congressional act that officially established Idaho as the 43rd U.S. state. But the story of Idaho starts much earlier. Twenty-seven years prior to statehood, on March 4, 1863, another significant Idaho milestone came by the hand of President Abraham Lincoln—the creation of Idaho Territory.

Those 27 intervening years—between Idaho’s foundation as a territory and its establishment as a state—might just be the most significant quarter century in Idaho history, shaping the state that Idaho would become and is today.

Governor Otter, Superintendent Luna and other elected officials are commemorating this important milestone with a presentation and ceremony on the steps of the Idaho Capitol Building today at noon.

To further celebrate and explore Idaho’s rich history as a territory, the Idaho State Historical Society is also offering a number of resources and exhibits in honor of the sesquicentennial.  

In addition, the Idaho Humanities Council is hosting regional workshops for Idaho teachers on celebrating Idaho’s Territorial Sesquicentennial. If you are a classroom teacher, you can apply to participate this summer. Successful applicants will receive lodging (if needed), texts, and the opportunity to apply for optional college credit.

Workshop topics will include Native American relations; the Gold Rush story; law and lawlessness; territorial politics; settlement and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; economic development; and a local historical connection for each regional workshop.

Dates for the four workshops are June 24-25 in Boise; June 27-28 in Pocatello; July 8-9 in Lewiston; and July 11-12 in Coeur d’Alene. Apply online by April 15, 2013. 

The Idaho State Department of Education also has worked with teachers across the state to collect lesson plans “Idaho at 150” to commemorate this important milestone in Idaho’s history. Teachers will soon be able to access and share these lesson plans via Schoolnet, the state’s instructional management system. More information will be coming soon!

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