Washington, D.C.- U.S. Senator Jim Risch placed several items from Idaho in a time capsule this month marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln. The items included an essay by Madison High School student Stephen Anderson, a book by the Center for Idaho History and Politics and the Idaho Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, and Risch's reflection on Lincoln's lasting influence.
"Idaho has a strong connection with Abraham Lincoln from his involvement in the creation of the Idaho territory to the county named in his honor," said Risch. "The book detailing that relationship and Stephen's essay represent Idaho's ties to Lincoln and it was my privilege to see that they were included in this time capsule."
Stephen Anderson, who just completed his junior year at Madison High School, was the winner of the 2008-2009 Idaho Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission's Essay Competition. His essay highlighted the 16th President's definition of liberty and the role it played in his service as Commander in Chief.
The book included in the capsule is titled Lincoln Never Slept Here: Idaho's Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Tour. It examines Lincoln's interest in the Idaho Territory, his involvement in its settlement and the influence Civil War veterans from both sides had on the state.
A commemorative set of Lincoln stamps postmarked in Boise on Lincoln's birthday were added to the capsule, along with the program from the Idaho Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission's rededication of Abraham Lincoln's statue. The statue was moved to the State Capitol and rededicated on February 12. It is the oldest Lincoln statue in the west.
"We claim that Idaho, more than any other state, is related to Abraham Lincoln. With the inclusion of the Lincoln Never Slept Here book, future generations will also know of the unique relationship between Idaho and our 16th President," said David Leroy, chairman of the Idaho Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.
The time capsule was part of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society's reception honoring the nation's 16th President and the new 111th Congress. It will be preserved in the Library of Congress until 2059 when it will be opened on the 250th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln.