Happy Idaho Day! Here’s 5 things you may not know about our state.


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IDAHO — Happy Idaho Day!

Never heard of Idaho Day? Well, in 2014, the Idaho Legislature established March 4 as Idaho Day to commemorate the creation of the territory in 1863. Though, this year’s celebration is on March 5 because March 4 fell on a Sunday.

The 2018 theme is “Idaho Remembers” and honors the 100th anniversary of the World War I armistice and all Idaho military veterans. To share in the celebration, KSL.com decided to list five unique things about our neighbor to the north.

1. Potatoes

Yes, we all know Idaho is famous for its potatoes, but do you know just how many potatoes are grown in the state? According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Idaho harvested 309,000 acres of potatoes in 2017, making it a billion-dollar product for the state. The annual harvest yields more than 13 billion pounds of potatoes and makes up nearly 32 percent of the total U.S. market, making Idaho the No. 1 state for potatoes.

2. The Gem State

Ever wonder why Idaho is nicknamed the Gem State? According to the State Symbols USA website, it got the nickname because of its abundance in natural resources — especially rare minerals like star garnets, Idaho’s state gem. The state produces 72 types of precious and semi-precious stones, some of which are found nowhere else in the world, according to VisitIdaho.org.

3. The Capitol building is heated by geothermal water

Idaho’s state Capitol building is the only capitol building in the U.S. that is heated by geothermal water. According to the Idaho Capitol Commission website, the hot water is pumped in from a source 3,000 feet underground.

4. Hell’s Canyon is deeper than the Grand Canyon

Yes, you read that right. Hell’s Canyon, which straddles the Idaho-Oregon border, is the deepest gorge in North America, according to the U.S. National Forest website. The Grand Canyon is around 6,000 feet at its highest point above the Colorado River, whereas Hell’s Canyon is just over 8,000 feet above the Snake River. Another fun fact? Shoshone Falls, at 212 feet, are also higher than Niagara Falls, at 167 feet, according to VisitIdaho.org.

5. The only state seal designed by a woman

Idaho has the only state seal that was designed by a woman. Emma Edwards Green was the winner of a competition held in 1891 for a design to be used as the official state seal. According to the Idaho Secretary of State website, Idaho’s is the only Great Seal used by a state that was designed by a woman.