Officials at the Idaho State Historical Society say 2013 is the busiest year in memory. And with good reason: With today's official kickoff of a nonstop list of exhibitions and events to mark Idaho's Sesquicentennial, the historians have been working around the clock in anticipation of today's noontime ceremony to launch Idaho's 150th birthday.
The public will get its first chance to see the first big exhibition, Essential Idaho, 150 Things That Make the Gem State Unique, later this week at the Idaho State Historical Museum.
And later this year, the historical society will unveil a new, permanent tribute to Abraham Lincoln, which will include one of the nation's most considerable collections of Lincoln memorabilia.
"Idaho, more than any other state, is related to Abraham Lincoln, and here's why," said former Idaho Attorney General David Leroy, who is gifting his collection to the historical society. "He appointed 15 of our earliest officers, he signed a bill to create the Idaho Territory, he mentioned the Idaho Territory in his 1863 and 1864 addresses to Congress, he considered the business of the Idaho Territory on the last day of his life, and he even invited the Idaho Territory governor to go with him to Ford's Theater on that fateful night."
Today marks the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's personal signature on the document that created the Idaho Territory.
"And that's why the timing of this new permanent exhibit is so significant," said Leroy. "It's wonderful to be a part of the remembrance of the legacy of Lincoln in such a year as 2013."