On May 17, National Idaho Day recognizes the 43rd state to join the union.

A wave of settlement made its way into The Gem State following in the footsteps of the Corps of Discovery. Miners, traders, and missionaries made their way West into the territory of the Nez Perce, Shoshone and Bannock peoples.

The state is dominated by the Rocky Mountains range. Snake River winds its way through the rugged western border of the state carving the deepest river gorge in North America. Hells Canyon National Recreation Area provides spectacular views of the dramatic landscapes the Snake River took thousands of years to sculpt.

Idaho doesn’t lack scenery. Take any byway, and the next turn will reveal a whole new vista to observe. For example, Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve will seem to erupt before your eyes. This vast lava field formed from ancient volcanic activity.

While exploring Idaho, don’t forget to investigate Hagerman’s Fossil Beds. Excavations of these well-preserved fossils have fascinated paleontologists for generations. If there is an equine interest, be sure to study the Hagerman Horse, too!

Beyond the fossils, entire cityscapes of stone appear. The City of Rocks encountered by native peoples, pioneers and modern-day adventurers became a kind of waystation or landmark for those who were westward bound.

Inventors seem to like Idaho. Beyond the list of patents for improvements to printing presses and railroad technology, Idaho is the home of the television. Philo Farnsworth invented the necessary technology that brought the small screen to the mass market.


Join National Day Calendar as we explore the byways of The Gem State. Discover the history and people of Idaho. Get inventive and find all the hidden treasures! Use #NationalIdahoDay to share on social media.

Sacajawea – Explorer and Guide – (May 1788 – December 20, 1812)

In 1805, Sacajawea joined the Corps of Discovery expedition with her husband Touissant Charbonneau and her son Jean Baptiste Charbonneau. As a guide and translator, the Shoshone woman’s presence signaled to others that the expedition’s mission was a peaceful one.

Gutzon Borglum – Artist – (March 25, 1867 – March 6, 1941)
Ezra Pound – Poet – (October 30, 1885 – November 1, 1972)
Carol R. Brink – Author – (December 28, 1895 – August 15, 1981)
Joe Albertson – Businessman – (October 17, 1906 – January 20, 1993)
J. R. Simplot – Businessman – (January 4, 1909 – May 25, 2008)
Mark Felt – Investigator – (August 17, 1913 – December 18, 2008)
Lana Turner – Actress – (February 8, 1921 – June 29, 1955)
Harmon Killebrew – Baseball player – (June 29, 1936 – May 17, 2011)
Nikki Sixx – Musician – (December 11, 1958 – )
Picabo Street – Skiier – (April 3, 1971 – )
Idaho Official

Center of the Universe – Wallace

Ernest Hemingway’s Grave – Ketchum

Yellowstone’s Zone of Death – Idaho Park

Dugout Dick Memorial – Salmon River