Say goodbye to Mt. McKinley, North America’s tallest mountain peak, and hello to Mt. Denali, instead. Upon prepping his visit to Alaska,the Associated Press reports, President Barack Obama decided to rename the mountain peak in Denali Park as a gesture to the state’s natives, an Athabascan word meaning “the high one.” The president is visiting the state to lobby support for his climate change plan.
“With our own sense of reverence for this place, we are officially renaming the mountain Denali in recognition of the traditions of Alaska Natives and the strong support of the people of Alaska,” said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.
Mount McKinley was officially known as Denali in Alaska since the 1970s. However, Alaska’s attempts to have the Koyukon Athabascan name adopted at the federal level, The Alaska Dispatch News reported, were stymied by lawmakers from Ohio, the birthplace of America’s 25th president, William McKinley.
Ohio lawmakers would, according to the Akron Beacon Journal, introduce a one-sentence bill in every Congress every two years to stop the name change. This has been happening for almost 20 years. Ohio Rep. Bob Gibbs introduced the bill in early January of this year to keep the McKinley name.
A gold prospector in 1896, one year before McKinley took office, named the peak after McKinley. An anarchist later assassinated the Republican president early in his second term.