“Oh, how we love Idaho,” declared Rep. Linden Bateman, R-Idaho Falls, as he began presenting HCR 5 in the House this morning, his resolution to name the Capitol Auditorium the “Abraham Lincoln Auditorium,” and marking March 4, 2013 as the 150thanniversary of the creation of Idaho Territory by President Lincoln.
Bateman, a retired history teacher and a Lincoln buff, told of how a reporter asked Ernest Hemingway why he loved Idaho, and the author responded, “It’s the only place they haven’t changed.” He shared Idaho experiences from seeing a flock of bluebirds burst out of a patch of blue lupin flowers, to watching a bald eagle soar over the Boise River in the heart of the capital city. And he told of how Lincoln created Idaho, and his close friendship with the state’s first governor, William Wallace, whom he nicknamed, “Old Idaho,” and who always regretted turning down an invitation to Ford’s Theater the night Lincoln was assassinated, thinking perhaps if he’d been there, he could have saved the president’s life.
Bateman’s resolution says, “Idaho Territorial Sesquicentennial is a once in a lifetime opportunity to educate individuals and communities across our state about their heritage and to commemorate this 150th milestone.” You can read his full resolution here. House Speaker Scott Bedke thanked Bateman for his words, saying, “That was eloquent, and we're proud to have you as a spokesman for our state.” The resolution then passed the House unanimously.