Today is not exactly the first Idaho Day – though the bill to create the new March 4 holiday, marking the anniversary of President Lincoln’s signing of the act creating Idaho Territory, has passed both houses and Gov. Butch Otter signed it into law today. The bill, HB 378, has no emergency clause. That means it takes effect July 1. So the first designated “Idaho Day” holiday would be in 2015.
Both the House and Senate voted unanimously in favor of HB 378. “Idaho Day” wouldn’t be a paid holiday or a day to close government offices; just a day to highlight Idaho’s history and heritage. On March 4, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the congressional act creating Idaho Territory. Twenty-seven years later, President Benjamin Harrison signed a congressional act on July 3, 1890 establishing Idaho as the 43rd state.