Idaho links to Lincoln highlighted in House ceremony marking birthday (w/video)

Former Idaho Lt. Gov. Dave Leroy, Idaho’s self-made expert on Lincoln, was accompanied by Rep. Rick Youngblood on guitar and Charlie Simmons on banjo for Wednesday’s Lincoln Day program in the Idaho House.

Youngblood, R-Nampa, and Simmons played three selections, “Rally Around the Flag,” “Ashokan Farewell” and “Marching Through Georgia.” Watch a short video here.

Marking Lincoln’s 205th birthday, Leroy spoke of Idaho’s connections to Lincoln, who signed the law establishing Idaho Territory in 1863.

At key moments in Lincoln’s life — Cooper Union, Gettysburg, his Second Inaugural Address — Idahoans were present, Leroy said.

On the night of his assassination, Territorial Gov. William Wallace had been invited to Ford’s Theater, but declined Lincoln’s invitation.

Leroy helped convince lawmakers to rename the Capitol Auditorium for Lincoln. Along with his wife, Nancy, Leroy donated hundreds of items to comprise the new Lincoln exhibit at the Idaho State Archives.

Wednesday at noon, a birthday celebration, including a guided tour of the exhibit “A. Lincoln: His Legacy in Idaho,” will be held at the archives, just off Warm Springs Avenue in Boise. Cake and refreshments will be served and self-guided tours will be available throughout the day. Lincoln gift shop items are discounted up to 30 percent and a special book sale is set.

The 45-minute ceremony also included remarks by Rep. Linden Batemen, R-Idaho Falls, on Lincoln’s keen sense of mortality and a recitation of the Gettysburg Address by Lincoln reenactor Skip Critell.

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Idaho Politics