I was kind of busy yesterday so I didn’t have time to comment on President Obama’s decision to rename Mt. McKinley or the resulting outrage from conservatives. I think the following explains how dumb this outrage is.
The mountain came to be known as Mount McKinley after President William McKinley in 1896 when a gold prospector heard McKinley had won the Republican presidential nomination, and declared the tallest peak should be named after him to show support. The government formally recognized it as Mount McKinley in 1917, and efforts to change it began in Alaska in 1975, according to the New York Times.
This has been a long time coming for those who have been fighting for the name change. Like the Alaska Dispatch News reported, the story was always the same in D.C., Alaska legislators would file bills to change the name, and someone from Ohio—McKinley’s home state—would file legislation to block the change.
As not much of a compromise, in 1980, the national park surrounding the mountain was named Denali National Park and Preserve, but the Mount McKinley name remained.
“I think for people like myself that have known the mountain as Denali for years and certainly for Alaskans, it’s something that’s been a long time coming,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, who signed the order for the name change, told Alaska Dispatch News Sunday.
One of those long-time supporters is Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who introduced legislation in January to get the peak renamed, but again Ohio lawmakers tried to block it. She posted a video to YouTube Sunday, applauding Obama’s decision to change the name.
“For generations, Alaskans have known this majestic mountain as ‘the great one,’” she said in the video, appearing in front of the snow-topped mountain. “I’d like to thank the president for working with us to achieve this significant change to show honor, respect and gratitude to the Athabascan people of Alaska.”
If anyone is still talking about this tomorrow, you know that they’re terminally stupid.