Happy birthday, Honest Abe!
Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is today, and all of Idaho should celebrate him on this day. Why? Because good old Abe is pretty important to Idaho’s history!
Let’s rewind time a little bit, all the way back to 1863. On March 4th, Lincoln signed the act that created the Idaho Territory. With the help of the representatives that Lincoln assigned, they were able to negotiate treaties with the Native People who lived in Idaho at that time. Around 60,000 people made Idaho their home, thanks to his Homestead Act.
Not sure what a homestead is? A homestead claim is a way that government officials divided up public land to citizens. This opened the door for many people, including farmers, single women, and formerly-owned slaves to get their own property. There were risks involved, of course. Could you imagine packing up your whole family and household items on a wagon, trekking across vast areas, and settling in a wilderness? No thank you! And the settlers had to agree on a couple of terms: You had to live on the land, build a home, and make improvements to the land, like having a successful farm.
So if you have a moment today, send a happy birthday wish to the 16th President of the United States. And maybe a big thank you as well!