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In the late 1880s, statehood for the Washington Territory was nearing.
Because its commercial and transportation interests looked west, rather than south, the citizens of the Idaho Panhandle passionately lobbied for their region to join Washington, or to form an entirely separate state, rather than remain connected with the less accessible southern Idaho.
It is the principal city in the Moscow, Idaho Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Latah County.
The city contains over 60% of the county's population, and while the university is Moscow's dominant employer, the city also serves as an agricultural and commercial hub for the Palouse region.
An amphibian, the Rough-skinned Newt, has a disjunctive population at Moscow; this species is found typically along the Pacific coast of the USA.
The University of Idaho was chartered in January 1889, and first opened its doors to students in October 1892.
There is no conclusive proof that it has any connection to the Russian capital, though various accounts suggest it was purposely evocative of the Russian city or named by Russian immigrants.