Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lincoln's 200th Birthday Observed in Boise

Putnam photo
Lincoln Memorial Re-dedicated on Capitol Boulevard

Boise--Idaho dignitaries rededicated Idaho's Lincoln Memorial on the Capitol Boulevard island in front of the Statehouse.

Work crews moved the Lincoln statue from the entrance of the Boise Veteran's Home at Fort Boise where it stood since 1970, prior to that the statue stood 61 years in front of the old Home in present day Veteran's Park.

Former Idaho Attorney General and chairman of the Idaho Bicentennial Lincoln Commission David Leroy conducted the ceremony in front of a hearty Statehouse crowd in 30-degree weather as snowflakes drifted from gray skies.

"The effect America's 16th President of the United State had on the State of Idaho has been a profound one which will stay with the residents of Idaho forever," Leroy told the noontime crowd. People should know that with a stroke of a pen Abraham Lincoln created Idaho. The authorization of the Idaho Territory was one of the most significant, expansionist acts of his presidency."

Idaho Supreme Court Chief Justice Dan Eismann lead the crowd in the pledge of allegiance, Lt. Governor Brad Little accepted the monument on behalf of the State of Idaho. Skip Critell, A Lincoln re-enactor delivered the Gettysburg Address in front of a crowd of 500.

Putnam photo
The Lincoln Monument was orginally given to the State in 1915 by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Grand Army of the Republic, making it the oldest such monument in the Western United States. The 17-foot high statue and pedestal weighs about 29,000 pounds. Lincoln was credited with helping pick the name of "Idaho."

A poll conducted this week in Idaho revealed that President Abraham Lincoln is the Gem States most favorite president with a 38-percent favorable rating, Franklin Roosevelt and JFK were tied for second with a 14-percent rating, George Washington followed at 12-percent.

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