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."
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)