Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Congressional Fight Over Mountain Name Congressional Fight Over Mountain Name

This ad will end in seconds
Close X

Want access to this content? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation



Congressional Fight Over Mountain Name

What's in a name, particularly that of a mountain? Apparently enough to sustain a decades'-old congressional battle.

Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski has proposed legislation to change Mount McKinley's name to Denali, a Tanana word meaning "The High One" and what many Alaskans' call the mountain.

Mount McKinley, North America's tallest peak, is named after President William McKinley of Ohio. So Ohio Reps. Tim Ryan and Betty Sutton, both Democrats, aren't just going to let the Alaskans change the name. The pair have their own bill to retain the mountain name.

Gold prospector William Dickey named the mountain after then-candidate McKinley in 1896. (Talk about a formidable campaign ad). A Ryan spokeswoman told the Associated Press that  "keeping the mountain's name is important to honor President McKinley."

Read more here:

And this fight isn't a new one, the Associated Press reports:

A move to change the name took hold in the 1970s, championed by then-Alaska Gov. Jay Hammond. The state Legislature, in 1975, passed a resolution urging the Interior secretary to direct the U.S. Board on Geographic Names to rename Mount McKinley as Mount Denali and Mount McKinley National Park to Denali National Park, according to the history.

Ohio U.S. Rep. Ralph Regula vowed to fight the name change, and did, through measures or language included in bills until his retirement in January 2009.

Photo: Mount McKinley rises above the horizon in this undated file photo. (AP Photo/Al Grillo)

Don't Miss Today's Top Stories


Rick, Executive Director for Policy

Concise coverage of everything I wish I had hours to read about."

Chuck, Graduate Student

The day's action in one quick read."

Stacy, Director of Communications

I find them informative and appreciate the daily news updates and enjoy the humor as well."

Richard, VP of Government Affairs

Chock full of usable information on today's issues. "

Michael, Executive Director

Sign up form for the newsletter