Idaho December 08, 2018
Here Are 10 Things They Don’t Teach You About Idaho In School
If you were born and raised in Idaho, you’re probably under the assumption that you know all there is to know about the Gem State. That
could be true, but there are so many interesting facts about our state that you may not have heard them all. Featured below are 10 things they don’t teach you in your typical Idaho history class. In actuality, some of these unique facts are pretty unbelievable. Keep reading and see how many are new to you!
1. "Idaho" is a made-up word.
Have you ever wondered what the origin of our state's name is? The story is far from what you'd expect. A lobbyist named George Willing suggested the name, claiming that it meant "gem of the mountains" in the Shoshone language. Later on, Willing admitted that was false and the word was actually completely made up.
2. The Idaho State Capitol Building is the only one in the country heated by geothermal energy.
Have you ever stepped into the Capitol building during winter? The hot springs located about 3,000-feet underground help to keep it nice and toasty, along with a plethora of other buildings in the area.
3. Potatoes aren't native to Idaho...
It's kind of ironic that the one thing Idaho is most known for isn't even a native plant to the state! The first potato was actually planted in New Hampsire in 1719. It didn't come to Idaho until 1836. That means New Hampshire should REALLY be the state that gets all of the potato jokes.
9. ...and neither is our state horse!
You probably know that the Appaloosa is the Idaho state horse. However, you might not know that the Appaloosa wasn't even brought to the Gem State until the 1700s. Spaniards were the ones responsible for bringing this horse to Idaho, and the Nez Perce tribe were the ones who embraced them.
4. You can sail straight to the Pacific Ocean from Idaho.
Turns out Idaho isn't a landlocked state after all. Who knew? If you really wanted to, you could sail straight to the Pacific Ocean from either the Snake or Columbia Rivers from the town of Lewiston. In fact, Lewiston is considered the farthest inland port on the West Coast.
5. It's illegal to be seen in public without a smile.
If you visit the town of Pocatello, you better not be seen without a smile on your face. You may just be taken off to jail. Don't worry, we're kidding! Kind of. "The Smile Ordinance" was put in place in 1948 in order to heighten spirits during a particularly depressing winter.
6. Idaho is home to the longest main street in America.
It turns out the longest main street in America can be found in small town Idaho. Island Park may have a population of just 286, but their main street stretches for 33 miles.
7. The world's largest potato chip can be found in Blackfoot.
Come on. Seeing this thing should be on every Idahoan's bucket list. You'll find it at the Potato Museum in Blackfoot.
8. Idaho is actually the largest state in the Lower 48.
We know it may not
look like it, but Idaho is actually the largest state in the country. Well, it would be if you ironed out all of the mountains, hills, and gorges in our state. Still counts, right?
10. One of the nation's most handy firefighting tools was invented in Idaho.
Does this tool look familiar? The Pulaski is a staple for firefighters these days, but it was an Idahoan who popularized it. Edward Pulaski, considered a hero of the Great Idaho Fire of 1910, combined an axe with an adze to create the perfect tool for fighting fires.
How many of these unique facts did you already know? If we missed any, let us know in the comments below! For more silly tidbits, check out our list of
14 Weird And Crazy Laws In Idaho.