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Buckeye State native William McKinley loses mountainous honor

Buckeye State native William McKinley loses mountainous honor

614now Staff

mckinleysocialA lengthy battle between Ohio and Alaska over the name of North America’s highest peak has been settled. And we lost.

The former Mount McKinley has now officially been renamed Denali.

The mountain sits inside of Denali National Park and Reserve in Interior Alaska. Alaska locals and natives have always referred to the mountain as Denali…a word from the Koyukon language meaning high or tall. In 1896, a gold prospector in the area heard that William McKinley of Niles, Ohio had received the Republican presidential nomination and began calling the wonder ‘McKinley’ in his honor. McKinley went on to win the presidency. A few years after his 1901 assassination, the federal government formally recognized the area as Mount McKinley in his memory…this despite the former president’s never having set foot in the region.

Since 1975, the state of Alaska has petitioned the federal government to change the name of the mountain to Denali, but they have been fought every step of the way by leaders from Ohio. The Obama administration has now decided to grant Alaska’s request.

With our own sense of reverence for this place, we are officially renaming the mountain Denali in recognition of the traditions of Alaska Natives and the strong support of the people of Alaska.

– Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior

Needless to say, Ohio’s congressional leaders are not happy about the move.

This political stunt is insulting to all Ohioans, and I will be working with the House Committee on Natural Resources to determine what can be done to prevent this action.

– Congressman Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio)

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) says that he is also disappointed in the move and hopes that the administration will work with him to find another way to honor the nation’s 25th president.  (jj)

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