11 June 2015

Re-Naming Mt. McKinley

Henceforth, the State of Alaska will be the Republic of Ala ... oh, wait. That's not it.

Denali - 20,322 ft

WASHINGTON - The National Park Service says it won't get in the middle of the decades-long, Ohio-versus-Alaska fight over changing the name of North America's tallest mountain to Denali.

They mean "changing the name back to Denali", which is what the Natives have been calling it for thousands of years. But I digress.

“The National Park Service appreciates the long history and public interest for both the name Mount McKinley and the traditional Athabaskan name Denali,” Victor Knox, a director with the park service, said at the Senate hearing.

That's big of them. While we understand and sympathize with the Ohioans' desire to memorialize President McKinley, who hailed from that state, he never visited Alaska. And it's not clear why they thought that particular peak was the right one. There are literally thousands of unnamed mountains in Alaska. But Denali was and is well-known, a landmark visible for hundreds of miles.

And Alaskans still call it Denali, by the way. If one hears it referred to as "Mt. McKinley", one can be sure that it's a tourist - or a recent immigrant - speaking that name.


Well Seasoned Fool said...

On a much smaller scale here in Colorado we have the town of Dinosaur (a flyspeck on the US 40 CO/Utah border) still referred to as Artesia by old timers (guess I qualify now) and Steamboat Spring's Mt Werner still called Storm Mountain by diehard locals even if they admired Buddy Werner, the skier.

Rev. Paul said...

WSF, I can easily see how locals might want to re-name a peak in honor of somebody famous. Our beef is that Congress did it to Denali from 4,000 miles away, back when Alaska was still a Territory (and therefore didn't even get to vote on it).

Well Seasoned Fool said...

And I agree with Alaskans on this subject.

Corey 1 said...

I thought it was called Denali? I always thought Mt. Mickenly was another peak

Jenny said...

Darn it, you got me all excited there for a sec! :)

Rev. Paul said...

Corey 1, it's the same mountain. Alaskans have always called it Denali; Congress had other ideas.

Jenny, sorry 'bout that. It would have been a better post that way though, amirite?