On Sunday, President Obama announced that he would restore the name of the nation’s tallest mountain, currently called Mount McKinley, to Denali. The move, which comes in advance of the President’s trip to Alaska, was described as a show of respect to Native Americans and the original name they gave to the peak.
The name of the mountain was officially changed from Denali to Mount McKinley in 1917, at the suggestion of a gold prospector. William McKinley, who never visited Alaska, was America’s 25th president. Naming the mountain after McKinley, seemingly at random, was viewed by many as an expression of cultural imperialism.
But not everyone was happy about the change back.
I wish I had Twitter in 1988 so I could get all bent out of shape over Reagan's renaming of the John C. Stennis Space Center. #Denali— Yeggo (@Yeggo) August 31, 2015
"There is a reason President McKinley's name has served atop the highest peak in North America for more than 100 years, and that is because it is a testament to his great legacy," Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement issued Sunday night.
"I'm deeply disappointed in this decision," Boehner said after noting that McKinley served in the Army during the Civil War before representing Ohio in Congress and as governor.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said in a statement posted to social media that he was similarly "disappointed" in the decision to rename the mountain long named after "a proud Ohioan."
"The naming of the mountain has been a topic of discussion in Congress for many years. This decision by the Administration is yet another example of the President going around Congress," Portman said.
"I now urge the Administration to work with me to find alternative ways to preserve McKinley's legacy somewhere else in the national park that once bore his name," Portman added.
MCKINLEY’S DELIGHT COCKTAIL
McKinley’s Delight was created in 1896 to celebrate the 25th president’s election—this lost classic is a spin on the Manhattan. Many presidents had cocktails created in their honor, but few have stood the test of time. Created in 1896 during the 25th president’s election, the McKinley’s Delight is an exception. It incorporates classic elements from the Manhattan, but dresses them up for the special occasion with cherry liqueur and a dash of absinthe.