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Senate backs renaming Capitol auditorium the ‘Abraham Lincoln Auditorium’

The Senate this morning voted to approve HCR 5, the resolution to, in honor of the 150thanniversary of the creation of Idaho Territory, name the Capitol auditorium the Abraham Lincoln Auditorium. “Idaho was born out of political conflict, slavery, political disputes concerning Washington’s eastern boundary,” Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis told the Senate. “President Lincoln hoped that the creation of the Idaho Territory would serve as a further hedge against the spread of slavery and provide its ultimate abolition.”

“Idaho’s creation and early days were rocky, but a wonderful territory and then state was created,” Davis told the Senate. “A beautiful state, great resources, and remarkable people. Idaho’s creation was at a time of national struggle for individual liberty , freedom and rights, and its current citizens struggle to continue these treasured values. Abraham Lincoln is a symbol of that. His role is significant in Idaho’s name, creation, organization and legacy.”

Today is the 150th anniversary of the creation of Idaho Territory; to mark that, the entire Legislature is scheduled to participate in a processional out to the Capitol steps for a noon ceremony that will feature Gov. Butch Otter and more.

The Senate voted unanimously in favor of the resolution. Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, a former Montana legislator, said, “I do get some ... grief for having a political career in two different states. But I think it’s important to note ... the very first governor of the territory of Idaho was also the very first governor of the territory of Montana, once they were divided, so there’s a very long history there.”

Davis noted that as part of the renaming of the auditorium after Lincoln, former Idaho Lt. Gov. David Leroy and his wife, Nancy , have donated an 1863 portrait of Lincoln, in its original frame, for permanent display there. Said Davis, “It is a generous gift.”

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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