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Monday, October 24, 2016

By Roberta Rampton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — President Barack Obama on Monday will officially restore Denali as the name of North America’s tallest mountain, ending a 40-year battle over what to call the peak that has been known as Mount McKinley.

The symbolic gesture comes at the beginning of a three-day trip to Alaska where Obama hopes to build support for his efforts to address climate change during his remaining 16 months in office.

The peak was named Mount McKinley in 1896 after a gold prospector exploring the region heard that Ohioan William McKinley, a champion of the gold standard, had won the Republican nomination for president.

But Alaska natives had long before called the mountain Denali, meaning “the High One.” In 1975, the state of Alaska officially designated the mountain as Denali, and has since been pressing the federal government to do the same.

Alaskans had been blocked in Congress by Ohio politicians, who wanted to stick with McKinley as a lasting tribute to the 25th U.S. president, serving from 1897 until his assassination in 1901.

Under Obama’s action, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will use her legal authority to end the long debate and rename the mountain, which has an elevation of more than 20,000 feet (6,100 meters).

“This designation recognizes the sacred status of Denali to generations of Alaska natives,” the White House said in a statement.

(Additional reporting by Steve Quinn in Juneau, Alaska; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Photo: Denali, formerly known as Mount McKinley. National Park Service/Lian Law via Flickr.

  • FireBaron

    McKinley never really wanted to be President. What he wanted was a seat on the Supreme Court, which he finally got in the Harding Administration. Kind of says something when your Supreme Court seat came from what is recognized as the most corrupt administration in US History.

    • TZToronto

      Interesting that Harding would select a dead man for the Supreme Court. McKinley was assassinated in 1901. I think you mean Taft. On the other hand, the current Supreme Court would do a better job with 4 conservatives, 4 liberals and one dead guy.

    • Independent1

      If the Harding Administration was the most corrupt, what was the Reagan Administration which ended up with 138 members of that administration who had been indicted and subjected to official investigations??

      See these excerpts from the Daily Kos:

      Challenged by a conservative to present evidence that Reagan ran the
      most corrupt administration of the 20th century, I assembled this list
      of convicts from Reagan’s ranks.

      “By the end of his term, 138 Reagan administration officials had been
      convicted, had been indicted, or had been the subject of official
      investigations for official misconduct and/or criminal violations. In
      terms of number of officials involved, the record of his administration
      was the worst ever.”

      And isn’t it just wonderful that today’s Republicans still hold this crook ‘Reagan’ out as some kind of ‘saint’, and Darrell Issa is so deluded that he even was looking to submit legislation looking to rename the Atlantic Ocean – the Reagan Ocean. Do we need any more evidence as to just how criminal today’s conservative mind is??

  • 2ThinkN_Do2

    There we go, approve drilling in the Arctic Ocean, then tell us how you are pro-environment? The man is truly half and half . . . .