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Published On: Mon, Aug 31st, 2015

President Obama moves to rename Mount McKinley to ‘Danali’

The Obama administration announced Sunday plans to rename America’s highest point, Mount McKinley, to Danali, a traditional Alaskan name for the peak. Ohio lawmakers are already speaking out against the move, noting the honor to William McKinley, the nation’s 25th president.

“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,” said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

The announcement comes as Obama departed early Monday on a three-day visit to Alaska, planning to hold a round-table session with a group of Alaska Natives just after arriving Monday in Anchorage.

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Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who had pushed legislation for years to change the name, said Alaskans were “honored” to recognize the mountain as Denali.

“Mount McKinley … has held the name of our nation’s 25th President for over 100 years,” Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, said in a statement. “This landmark is a testament to his countless years of service to our country.” Gibbs also described Obama’s action as “constitutional overreach,” saying that an act of Congress was required to rename the mountain, because a law formally naming it after Ohio’s William McKinley was passed in 1917.

“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,” Gibbs said.

The Ohio delegation’s disappointment at the decision cut across party lines.

“We must retain this national landmark’s name in order to honor the legacy of this great American president and patriot,” Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, whose district includes McKinley’s hometown of Niles, in eastern Ohio.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, also blasted the decision as “yet another example of the President going around Congress”, while House Speaker John Boehner said the naming of the mountain after McKinley was “a testament to [the 25th president’s] great legacy .. I am deeply disappointed in this decision.”

 The state of Alaska has had a standing request to change the name to “Denali”  — a native Athabascan word meaning “the high one”  — dating back to 1975, when the legislature passed a resolution and then-Gov. Jay Hammond appealed to the federal government.
Rob Portman photo/Gage Skidmore

Rob Portman photo/Gage Skidmore

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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