Obama says he will rename Mt. McKinley ‘Denali’

Mt. McKinley; Pres. Obama announced Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, he will change the name of North America's tallest mountain to Mt. Denali. Grösster Berg von Nordamerika. 6193m. Am Chulitna River, Alaska, not dated | Stock photo, St. George News

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says he’s changing the name of the tallest mountain in North America from Mount McKinley to Denali.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - CIRCA 1972: a stamp printed in the USA shows Mt. McKinley, Alaska, Centenary of the National Park System, circa 1972 | Stock photo, St. George News
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – CIRCA 1972: a stamp printed in the USA shows Mt. McKinley, Alaska, Centenary of the National Park System, circa 1972 | Stock photo, St. George News

He’s giving the mountain its traditional Alaska Native name on the eve of a historic presidential visit to Alaska.

Denali is an Athabascan word meaning “the high one.” The name has long been a sore spot for Alaskans, who have informally called the 20,320-foot mountain Denali for years.

The mountain was named after former President William McKinley. There have been several efforts by Alaska politicians change it to Denali. But politicians from McKinley’s home state of Ohio have opposed changing the name.

Obama is citing the Interior Department’s authority to change the name.

Obama departs Monday for a three-day visit to Alaska aimed at focusing attention on climate change.

Written by JOSH LEDERMAN, Associated Press, and MARK THIESSEN, Associated Press.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  • 42214 August 30, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Why doesn’t he name it after himself, Mt Disgraceful.

    • GrandmaB August 30, 2015 at 4:58 pm

      Hmmmmm, lets see, because he has the grace to honor what the Alaska Natives called it for years. Very, very smart man. The people in Alaska never wanted the name changed.

      • mesaman August 30, 2015 at 5:33 pm

        If you were correct he would leave alone. Natives? How provincial. Try Aleuts or Athbascans. Mount Islam after his heritage. More honest.

        • 42214 August 30, 2015 at 5:57 pm

          Nolan, what is a “Bammie Department”? You always say something stupid and run. Hold your ground and explain yourself.

  • DRT August 30, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    Mount King Obama?

  • theone August 30, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Hey look, these two think they’re so clever.

  • Tm2282 August 30, 2015 at 6:18 pm


  • 42214 August 30, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    How about, Mt. If you like your insurance you can keep your insurance.

  • KarenS August 30, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Most Alaskans call the mountain Denali and have for generations. Kudos to President Obama for visiting the great state of Alaska and returning “the high one” to its proper name.

  • Dexter August 30, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    I’m glad to see the mountain getting its name back. good for them. Denali it is and always was

    • Real Life August 30, 2015 at 11:40 pm

      LOL! Poor little “dexter” is trying so hard to make a profound statement. Sorry stupid, way too late. LOL!

  • NotSoFast August 30, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    It’s kind of late in the game for Obama to try to convince the folks that he is deserving of being called the dedicated, Nations Commander In Chief. However, trying to do something right out of respect for the folks in Alaska with a mountain name change sounds OK with me. But I’ll wait for any conditions to come out. i.e., ‘If you like your current healthcare and your mountains new name ,you can keep them. ‘ As long as you follow all EPA regulations, pay your fair share and of course, (fill in the blanks ——————–).

  • Utahn August 31, 2015 at 7:42 am

    The state of Alaska should decide this issue.

  • Dexter August 31, 2015 at 8:19 am

    I thought that was a pretty cool thing for Obama to do.

    • Real Life August 31, 2015 at 12:20 pm

      Do you dexter? That’s great to know.

  • Dexter August 31, 2015 at 8:19 am

    Jerry Springer for president.!

  • Brian August 31, 2015 at 11:15 am

    I think this is the right thing to do. Native Americans are part of our culture and for have been excluded. This is a gesture of acceptance.

  • fun bag August 31, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    who cares about natives? name it “ronald reagan mountain”

    • Dexter August 31, 2015 at 11:01 pm

      Name it ABBYLASKA Mountain.!

  • ladybugavenger September 1, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Every time I read the headline, I see Mt. Denial \_(°°)_/

  • beacon September 5, 2015 at 10:33 am

    In Alaska, the mountain was renamed “Denali” about 20 years ago. That’s what most Alaskans called it when I was there. Should have been left that way in the first place.

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