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Idaho History Timeline

1700s - 1800s
  • (1743) Pierre De la Verendyre discovered Rocky Mountains
  • (1803) The Louisiana Territory was purchased by the U. S. from France
  • (1805) Captains Lewis and Clark discovered Idaho at Lemhi Pass
  • (1809) Britain opened first trading post; Kullyspell House was built
  • (1810) Fort Henry, the first American trading post established
  • (1811) Pacific Fur company expedition explored Snake River Valley; discovered Boise Valley
  • (1820) Treaty between Spain and U. S. established southern boundary of Idaho at 42nd parallel
  • (1823) Battle fought in Lemhi Valley between Snake River explorers and Piegan Indians
  • (1824) U. S. received Northwest Territory from Russia in treaty
  • (1832) First crossing of Rocky Mountains in covered wagons; battle of Pierre's Hole between fur trappers and Grosventre Indians
  • (1843) Oregon Trail established in Idaho
  • (1852) Gold discovered on the Pend Oreille River
  • (1854) Twenty-one immigrants massacred in Boise Valley by Snake River Indians
  • (1863) Idaho Territory organized; Bear River Massacre, the West's largest slaughter of Indians, occurred
  • (1865) Boise became capital of Idaho
  • (1877) Nez Perce Indian Wars took place
  • (1878) Bannock Indian Wars were fought
  • (1880) Lead and silver lodes were discovered in Wood River area
  • (1890) Idaho became 43rd state on July 3; first session of Idaho legislature met
  • (1897) Bitterroot Forest Reserve was established to protect bison
  • (1906) Largest sawmill in U. S. began operations at Potlatch
  • (1910) Forest fires consumed one-sixth of Idaho's forests, destroyed many communities
  • (1915) Arrowrock Dam completed
  • (1917) Statewide prohibition went into effect
  • (1924) Craters of the Moon National Monument established; Black Canyon Dam completed
  • (1931) State income tax law adopted
  • (1934) Idaho became number one in U.S. in silver production
  • (1935) Statewide prohibition repealed
  • (1942 Japanese-Americans placed in internment camps at Hunt
  • (1949) National Reactor Testing Station near Arco established
  • (1955) Arco, Idaho, became first town lit by atomic power
  • (1960) Seven-month strike by miners at Bunker Hill Mine; forest fires in Hells Canyon and Idaho City area
  • (1961) Ernest Hemingway died in Ketchum
  • (1972) Sunshine Mine fire in Kellogg killed 91
  • (1976) Teton Dam collapsed, killing 11 and forced over 300,000 to evacuate
  • (1980) Northern Idaho covered with layer of volcanic ash from eruption of Mt. St. Helens in Washington; 18 hour riot at Idaho State Prison caused $2 million in damages
  • (1983) Earthquake in Lost River Valley killed two and caused millions of dollars in damage
  • (1985) Grasshopper infestation destroyed great areas of farmlands
  • (1989) Forest fires burned thousands of acres in south central Idaho; Idaho lottery began
  • (1991) Kirby Dam collapsed, electrical power cut off to residents, arsenic, mercury, cadmium dumped into Boise River
  • (1992) Fire caused $3.2 million in damages to State Capitol; worst forest fire season in Idaho's history
  • (1994) Wildfires burned approximately 750,000 acres; Picabo Street won Olympic silver medal in downhill skiing
  • (1995) Picabo Street became first American to win World Cup downhill title
  • (1996) Northern Idaho hit with major floods
  • (1997) New Year's day floods occured in southwest Idaho
  • (2000) 559,183 acres burned in forest fires
  • (2001) 24 counties declared drought disaster areas
  • (2003) Longest legislative session in history lasted 118 days
  • (2005) Nez Perce water agreement ratified, tribe received annual rights to 50,000 acre-feet water from Clearwater River and $80 million cash.
  • (2007) Idaho had more wildfires burning than any other state, over 1.5 million acres damaged.
  • (2009) Idaho had more wildfires burning than any other state, over 1.5 million acres damaged; the SEC and Commodity Futures Trading Commission sued Daren Palmer, 22 Trigon Group, accused him of running a classic Ponzi scheme that took $68 million from 55 investors
  • (2010) Nine missionary Baptists from Idaho were arrested and faced kidnapping, trafficking charges in Haiti for attempted rescue of 33 Haitian children traumatized by earthquake, they were later released
  • (2010) Idaho became first state to pass law rejecting federal mandatory health insurance requirement
  • (2011) Governor issued statewide disaster declaration after flooding occurred in northern and southeastern parts of the state caused by melting of thick snowpack
  • (2011) Idaho Falls resident Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez accused of firing assault rifle at White House, charged with attempting to assassinate President Obama and/or his staff

Idaho Photographs

Snake RiverNez Pierce WarriorPiegan IndiansLouisiana Purchasemerriweather lewisWilliam ClarkOregon TrailSeven DevilsLemhi PassBoiseArrowrock DamErnest Hemingway

Idaho Cities, Counties & Area Codes

City County Area Code
Boise Ada 208
Council Adams 208
Pocatello Bannock 208
Montpelier Bear Lake 208
Saint Maries Benewah 208
Blackfoot Bingham 208
Hailey Blaine 208
Garden Valley Boise 208
Sandpoint Bonner 208
Idaho Falls Bonneville 208
Bonners Ferry Boundary 208
Arco Butte 208
Fairfield Camas 208
Nampa Canyon 208
Soda Springs Caribou 208
Burley Cassia 208
Dubois Clark 208
Orofino Clearwater 208
Challis Custer 208
Mountain Home Elmore 208
Preston Franklin 208
Saint Anthony Fremont 208
Emmett Gem 208
Gooding Gooding 208
Grangeville Idaho 208
Rigby Jefferson 208
Jerome Jerome 208
Coeur d Alene Kootenai 208
Moscow Latah 208
Salmon Lemhi 208
Kamiah Lewis 208
Shoshone Lincoln 208
Rexburg Madison 208
Rupert Minidoka 208
Lewiston Nez Perce 208
Malad City Oneida 208
Homedale Owyhee 208
Payette Payette 208
American Falls Power 208
Kellogg Shoshone 208
Victor Teton 208
Twin Falls Twin Falls 208
McCall Valley 208
Weiser Washington 208

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on July 10, 2020.