National Idaho Day | May 17
(Last Updated On: May 15, 2023)

In 2017, National Day Calendar® began celebrating each state in the order they entered the union starting the week of Independence Day and ending with Hawaii. We highlight a small part of each states’ history, foods and the people who make up the state. Many states have their own state celebrations, and National Day Calendar’s observances in no way replace them. There’s so much more to explore, we can’t help but celebrate our beautiful country even more!


On May 17th, National Idaho Day recognizes the 43rd state to join the United States union on July 3, 1890. Known by locals as The Gem State, Idaho was settled as 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.

HOW TO OBSERVE National Idaho Day

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.

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.
While Gutzon Borglum may be most known for his massive sculpture, Mount Rushmore, the artist created many more impressive works in his lifetime. Included in his collected works is a bust of President Abraham Lincoln carved directly from marble which is on display in the Crypt of the U.S. Capitol Building. Another is called, “Wars of America” and is displayed in Military Park in Newark, New Jersey. Borlum’s sculpture represents the significant military conflicts the United States had been involved in up to World War I.
Poet and critic, Ezra Pound became renowned for his contemporary approach to poetry. Pound’s poetry crossed into the political realm often, and his later life was full of controversy as he faced trial for treason.
Best known for her novel Caddie Woodlawn, Carol Ryrie Brink has authored more than thirty novels.
Joe Albertson founded the grocery store chain by the same name in 1939.
Founder of an agricultural company by the same name, J.R. Simplot tapped into Idaho’s ability to produce potatoes and onions.
Better known as “Deep Throat” during the Watergate scandal, Mark Felt confirmed his identity as the informant in 2005.
The glamorous Lana Turner starred in over 50 films during her career and the long-running Falcon Crest. One of her most memorable roles included Cora Smith in The Postman Always Rings Twice.
Playing mostly for the Minnesota Twins, Harmon Killebrew was a right-handed power hitter. His numerous home runs and last name earned him an obvious nickname. However, “Killer” didn’t quite fit the soft-spoken nature of the person.
Nikki Sixx co-founded the band Mötley Crüe with drummer Tommy Lee. The talented bassist, songwriter, and artist is involved in multiple creative projects today.
Downhill skier, Picabo Street, earned Olympic gold in 1998’s Super G women’s skiing event.

Hidden Treasure

Join the

Stay up to date on upcoming national days and Celebrate Every Day!