Finally! Mount McKinley has a new name – its old name! The mountain was known as The Great One (means Denali in the Athabaskan languages of the Alaska Natives living around the mountain) to Native Alaskans for hundreds of years before a prospector from Ohio saw it in 1917 and decided to name it McKinley after President William McKinley of Ohio.
Alaskans have been clamoring for the name to be changed back to The Great One – or Denali - for more than 40 years. Every year elected officials from Alaska submitted bills in Congress for the name change only to be stymied by politicians from Ohio.
Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior, decided that 40 years was long enough for Alaskans to petition for the name change. On Sunday, September 30, 2015, Mount McKinley officially became Denali. While signing the order renaming the highest peak in North America, Jewell stated, “The mountain was originally named after President William McKinley of Ohio, but President McKinley never visited, nor did he have any significant historical connection to, the mountain or to Alaska.” Barack Obama supported the change, and politicians from Ohio opposed it on the grounds that the move was an insult to “the work of the 25th president.”
The national park surrounding The Great One was originally established as Mount McKinley National Park in 1917. The park includes more than six million acres of preserved wilderness - “massive expanses of forest, glacial lakes, frozen tundra, and towering mountains” – including The Great One. The park’s boundaries were later pushed outward to include Denali National Monument and Denali Preserve. In 1980 Mt. McKinley National Park and Denali National Monument were made into Denali National Park & Preserve.
Alaskans are of course celebrating the name change, but I am wondering why it is taking place now. My regular readers understand that I do not trust Barack Obama or the members of his administration. I cannot help but question their reason for making this change. Why now?
Updated September 2, 2015: Here is an idea from Glenn Beck via Buck Sexton on why Mr. Obama is changing the name of the tallest mountain in North America: “So why is – why did he change the name? I watched Buck Sexton last night on the Blaze. I think he had the right answer. Misdirection. Pay no attention to what I’m really doing up here with climate change. Don’t let anybody talk about what I’m really doing on climate change. You just get everybody to be outraged and talk about Mount McKinley or Denali.”
So how did Mr. Obama use Alaska and Alaskans or sell out Americans at the climate change conference?