Western states remembering Abe Lincoln, too





When you think of Abraham Lincoln, you think of ... Idaho?

As the nation prepares to commemorate the Feb. 12 bicentennial of Lincoln's birth, Western states that didn't exist until after Lincoln's 1865 assassination, much less his 1809 birth near Hodgenville, Ky., are grabbing a piece of the famous birthday.

Problem is, the connection between the architect of the Emancipation Proclamation and the nation's post-Civil War states is sometimes thin. In Idaho, for example, officials claim their state is closer to Lincoln than any other — because he helped choose Idaho's name when he signed an order making it a territory in 1863.

"More than any other state, Idaho is related to Abraham Lincoln," argued David Leroy, chairman of the Idaho Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. "That sounds astounding, I suppose, if you're from Kentucky, Indiana or Illinois. But we think we have a pretty good claim."

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