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Idaho Historical Timeline

8,000 to 14,000 years ago: Paleo-Indian big game-hunters, with Clovis (11,500 to 12,500 B.P), Folsom (10,500 to 11,000 B.P), and Plano (8,000 to 10,500 B.P) cultures.

200 to 8,000 years ago: Ardchaic-Indian culture, with permanent houses (5,000 years ago) and bows and arrows and pottery (300 to 1,500 years ago) coming into use.

200 to 260 years ago: Shoshone bands obtained horses for transportation but were decimated by smallpox spread from European sources.

800 to 1840: Early historic Indian culture, with adaptation brought on by white contact, trade goods, and other fur-trade activities.

1803: The United States purchased Louisiana Territory.


1805: Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark enter area which would become Idaho at Lemhi Pass.

1809: Kullyspell House, first non-native establishment in Northwest, erected near Lake Pend Orielle.

1810: Fort Henry, first American fur post west of Rocky Mountains, established near St. Anthony.

1811: Astorian parties under Wilson Price Hunt explored portions of the future Oregon Trail in Idaho.

1818: U.S. & Great Britain sign Joint Occupation Treaty for Oregon Territory.

1819: Donald Mackenzie held a rendezvous with Native Americans on the Boise River. Adams-Onis treaty between Spain and the United States established Idaho's future southern border on the 42nd Parallel. Mackenzie attempted to set up a post on the Boise River.

1820: Mackenzie negotiated a peace treaty with the Shoshone on Little Lost River and explored most of Goodale's Cutoff.

1821: Hudson's Bay Company and North West Company merged.

1822: William Ashley organized the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, which instituted the practice of annual rendezvous.

1830: Captain B.L.E. Bonneville took a wagon train across South Pass to Green River.

1832: A trapper's wheeled caravan traveled over part of the Oregon Trail west of Casper to the Wind River rendezvous.

1834: Forts Laramie, Boise, and Hall were established.

1836: Henry H. Spalding established a mission near Lapwai where he prints the Northwest's first book, establishes Idaho's first school, develops Idaho's first irrigation system and grows
the state's first potatoes. Narcissa Whitman and Eliza Spalding are the first white women to cross continental divide (South Pass).

1843: First Oregon Trail wagons cross Idaho.

1846: Treaty settled the Oregon boundary dispute.

1849: Over 20,000 emigrants who join the gold rush come through southeastern Idaho on the California Trail. Heavy traffic continues on the trail for many years. U.S. Military post,
Cantonment Loring, established near Fort Hall.

1852: French Canadians discover gold on the Pend Oreille River.

1853: Washington Territory created.

1855: Salmon River mission (Fort Lemhi) established by Mormon missionaries. Abandoned in 1858.

1859: Oregon admitted as a state.

1860: Franklin, first town in Idaho, established.

1860-63: Major mining strikes near Pierce, Florence, Idaho City and Silver City.

1862: Lewiston's Golden Age is Idaho's first newspaper

1863: Idaho becomes a territory on March 4 with Lewiston as its capital. The Massacre of Bear River, one of the West's largest Indian battles, is fought near present-day Preston.

1864: Territorial Legislature approves moving capital to Boise.

1866: Telegraph service reaches Idaho.

1866-68: Snake War.

1867: Owyhee Miners' League in Owyhee County organizes, as state's first labor union.

1870: Idaho population 17,804.

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Interior of Sawtell's Ranch. , Henry's Lake, Fremont County, Idaho Territory, 1872..

1872: U.S. Assay office and Idaho prison completed.

1874: Railroad service reaches Idaho at Franklin.

1877: Nez Perce Indian War.

1878: Bannock Indian War.            

1879: Sheepeater Indian campaign.

1880: Idaho population 32,610. Boise and Lewiston independent school districts created.

1881: Historical Society of Idaho Pioneers forms to collect and preserve a reliable history of the early settlement of the territory.

1882: State's first electric light at the Philadelphia Smelter near Ketchum.

1883: Commercial telephone service in Idaho begins at Hailey.

1884: Silver discovered in the Coeur d'Alene mining district, which eventually becomes nation's richest.

1889: Constitutional Convention convenes on July 4, with constitution ratified by the people on November 5. Territorial Legislature establishes University of Idaho.

1890: Idaho population 88,548. Idaho becomes 43rd state on July 3.

1891: First classes held at the College of Idaho.

1896: Butch Cassidy robs the bank in Montpelier.

1900: Idaho population 161,722.

1904: Completion of Milner Dam brings irrigation to the south side of the Snake River.

1905: Former Governor Frank Steunenberg assassinated.

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George Pettibone, "Big Bill" Haywood, and Charles Moyer awaiting trial for the 1905
assassination of former Governor Frank Steunenberg

1906: Largest sawmill in the United States opens at Potlatch.

1907: William E. Borah elected to Senate where he serves 33 years. Weiser baseball player Walter "Big Train" Johnson signs with the Washington Senators. Idaho Historical Society
founded.

1910: Idaho population 325,594. Forest fires consume one-sixth of north Idaho's forests.

1912: State Board of Education established.

1914: Moses Alexander elected first Jewish governor in United States.

1917: Battleship Idaho launched.

1920: Idaho population 431,866. State Capitol Building completed.

1920: Philo Farnsworth, 15-year-old student and inventor from Rigby, develops concepts which lead to invention of television and earn him the name "Father of Television." Idaho's first radio station, KFAU at Boise High School, goes on the air in 1922.

1924: Craters of the Moon National Monument established.

1926: First commercial airmail service in the U.S. begins in Boise.

1930: Idaho population 445,032.

1934: Idaho becomes nation's leading silver producer.

1936: Sun Valley resort established by Union Pacific Railroad. World's first ski chair lift opens at Sun Valley.

1939: Joe Albertson opens his first supermarket in Boise.

1940: Idaho population 524,873.

1941: J.R. Simplot begins potato dehydration operations in Caldwell.

1942: Japanese-Americans placed in internment camp near Eden.

1949: National Reactor Testing Station (NRTS) established.

1950: Idaho population 588,637.

1951: NRTS becomes site of the worlds' first use of nuclear fission to produce electricity. Experimental Breeder Reactor No. 1 is later designated a National Landmark.

1953: Television comes to Idaho with KIDO-TV in Boise.

1960: Idaho population 667,191.

1961: Ernest Hemingway dies in Ketchum.

1966: Voters uphold 3% state sales tax.

1970: Idaho population 713,015.

1972: Fire at the Sunshine Mine in Kellogg takes 91 lives.

1975: Port of Lewiston opens Idaho to ocean-going shipping.

1976: Teton Dam collapses, killing 11 and forcing thousands to flee their homes.

1977: Governor Cecil D. Andrus appointed Secretary of the Interior.

1978: Voters approve tax limitation placing severe restrictions on the use of the property tax.

1979: Senator Frank Church becomes chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

1980: Idaho population 944,038. Eruption of Mt. St. Helens in Washington leaves north Idaho covered with layer of volcanic ash.

1981: Senator James McClure becomes chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in the 97th - 99th Congress.

1983: An earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale kills two Challis children and caused millions of dollars of damage.

1984: Harmon Killebrew of Payette inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame.

1985: David Marquart (Boise) and Barbara Morgan (McCall) are among 10 finalists out of 11,000 applicants in the NASA Teacher in Space program. Barbara Morgan later becomes Teacher in Space backup to Christa McAuliffe, and Teacher in Space designee in 1986.

1990: Idaho population 1,006,749. Idaho celebrates Statehood Centennial - July 3.

1992: Linda Copple Trout becomes the first woman appointed to the Idaho Supreme Court.

1994: Idaho ranks third nationwide in percentage population growth after the state added another 33,000 residents.

1995: Picabo Street becomes first American to win World Cup downhill title.

          ....................(courtesy of Idaho Historical Society)