Rep. Linden Bateman, R-Idaho Falls, told the House today that presenting HB 378, his bill to establish an “Idaho Day” to “be celebrated with great jubilation every year on March 4th”, the anniversary of the day that President Abraham Lincoln signed the congressional act creating the state of Idaho, is the “most precious moment in my legislative tenure.” He said, “I’ve never been more fondly attached to a bill.”
After all the celebrations in the past year of Idaho’s 150th birthday, or sesquicentennial, Bateman said, “There was so much enthusiasm generated by that event, and so many wonderful activities, that the question was asked, ‘Why should we wait another 50 years to celebrate? Why not celebrate the birth of Idaho every year?’”
Bateman regaled the House with praise for Idaho’s historical, geographic, and cultural wealth; Rep. Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise, also spoke in favor of the bill. “I believe it is useful and important for the people of Idaho, once a year, to reflect on how we came to be,” he said. The bill then passed unanimously; it still needs Senate passage and the governor’s signature to become law. The bill says the new holiday “shall not constitute a reason to close state and political subdivision offices,” but should be marked by flag displays, historical exhibits, ceremonies and proclamations.