3¢ Idaho Statehood
Issue Date: July 3, 1940
City: Boise, ID
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 11 x 10.5
Color: Bright violet
U.S. #896 was issued to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Idaho’s statehood. The stamp pictures the State Capitol at Boise, which was built in 1913.
Idaho’s Road to Statehood
In 1805, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, led by the explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, became the first Europeans to reach Idaho. They crossed the Bitterroot Mountains, where they met Shoshone and Nez Percé Indians. The Indians helped the explorers build canoes, which they floated down the Clearwater and Snake rivers into the Columbia River.
In 1809, British explorer David Thompson established a fur trading post on Pend Oreille Lake. In 1834, American Nathaniel Wyeth founded Fort Hall, and Thomas McKay of the British Hudson’s Bay Company founded Fort Boise. Presbyterian missionaries Henry and Eliza Spalding traveled to Idaho. Eliza was one of the first white women to travel by land to the Northwest.
In 1855, a group of Mormons began farming in eastern Idaho. They built Fort Lemhi and the state’s first irrigation projects before they were driven away by Indians. Another group of Mormons arrived in 1860, and established Idaho’s first permanent settlement, Franklin.
Idaho’s population grew rapidly after E. D. Pierce discovered gold in Orofino Creek in 1860. Then, in 1862, George Grimes discovered gold in the Boise Basin. Towns grew rapidly as prospectors poured into the area.
On March 4, 1863, the Idaho Territory was created. Lewiston was named the capital. The territory included all of today’s Idaho and Montana, and most of Wyoming. Montana became a separate territory in 1864, and Wyoming followed in 1868. Boise became Idaho’s capital in 1864.
On July 3, 1890, Idaho achieved statehood as America’s 43rd state.
FDR – The Stamp-Collecting President
President Franklin Roosevelt was instrumental in the design and issuance of U.S. #896. Introduced to stamp collecting at a young age by his mother, Franklin Delano Roosevelt turned to his collection throughout his life to relax and unwind.
Elected President four times, Roosevelt served in the nation’s highest office longer than any other chief executive – 12 years. During those 12 years, Roosevelt shared his love of stamps with the nation, personally approving each of more than 200 stamp designs. He suggested topics, rejected others, and even designed some himself. It was his aim to use stamps not just to send mail but also to educate Americans about our history. And as he reluctantly entered America into World War II, he saw these stamps as an outlet to raise spirits and bring hope.