Mount McKinley Renamed: Obama Denali Name Change Sparks Backlash

Mount McKinley renamed Denali, by Barack Obama. Prior to leaving for a trip to Alaska to discuss climate change, the president waved his pen and changed the name of the tallest peak in North America from Mt. McKinley back to its Native American Athabascan name.

Mt. McKinley was named after the 25th President of the United States, William McKinley. The Ohio native was known for his support of the gold standard and the protective tariffs he placed on goods in an effort to bolster the economy of the United States. McKinley served as president from March 4, 1897, until he was assassinated on September 14, 1901, the White House website notes. He is credited with leading America to victory in the Spanish-American War.

McKinley was born in Niles, Ohio, in 1843 and attended Allegheny College briefly before teaching in a country school. When the Civil War began he enlisted as a private in the Union Army. After the war he studied law and opened up a practice in Canton.

Denali, as it will now be known, is 20,320-feet tall. The Athabascan name means, “the high one,” The Daily Mail reports.

Climate change and concerns about shrinking Arctic glaciers will be the focus of the Alaska trip President Obama embarked upon today, MSN notes. Obama will be the first sitting United States president to travel beyond the Arctic Circle.

Reaction to the Obama Denali renaming of Mt. McKinley was both swift and severe from Ohio lawmakers. Representative Bob Gibbs announced he is working with his peers to determine what they can do to thwart the Mount McKinley renaming.

“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,” Representative Gibbs said.

President Obama left for the Alaska Arctic on Monday morning. Air Force One will land in Anchorage later this afternoon. Obama will host a listening session with Alaska Native Americans to before addressing attendees of the global warming focused Arctic summit. Leaders from both Arctic and non-Arctic nations will be included in the meeting.

The president will also take a boat tour of the Kenai Fjords National Park and go on a hike to Exit Glacier. On Wednesday Obama will travel to the southwestern Alaskan town of Dillingham where he will meet with fishermen who are immersed in a battle with miners over copper and gold mines in Bristol Bay – a massive salmon fishing region.

What do you think about President Obama Denali renaming decision of the high peak formerly known at Mt. McKinley?

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