President Obama’s move to rename Mount McKinley in Alaska to Denali may have put to rest a long-running campaign from Native Americans who wanted the traditional Athabascan name restored – but it’s sparked outrage from Ohio lawmakers, who want their state’s assassinated leader to maintain his mountain recognition.
“This political stunt is insulting to all Ohioans,” said Rep. Bob Gibbs, the Associated Press reported. “I will be working with the House Committee on Natural Resources to determine what can be done to prevent this action.”
He also said, Fox News reported: “Mount McKinley … has held the name of our nation’s 25th president for over 100 years. This landmark is a testament to his countless years of service to our country” and Obama should not be allowed to go forward with this “constitutional overreach.”
Speaker John Boehner, also from Ohio, said he was disappointed in Obama’s decision to rename the mountain as well.
Mount McKinley is North America’s tallest peak.
McKinley, the 25th president of the United States, rose in ranks from private to major in the Civil War, serving on the Union side. He moved to Canton, Ohio, after the war, served in Congress and then as governor. In 1896, he beat out his Democratic challenger for the White House, in part because of his call for a gold standard for U.S. money. He was assassinated on Sept. 6, 1901 and succeeded in office by then-Vice President Theodore Roosevelt.
Mount McKinley was named after the former president in 1917, by an act of Congress.
And it’s not just Republicans who are upset at Obama’s name change announcement.
“We must retain this national landmark’s name in order to honor the legacy of this great American president and patriot,” said Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, whose district includes McKinley’s hometown of Niles, located in the eastern portion of Ohio, Fox News said.