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Obama Renames Tallest Mountain In U.S. Because I Guess That’s A Thing Presidents Can Do

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During his three day trip to Alaska, President Obama changed the name of the nation’s tallest mountain, Mt. Mckinley, to Mt. Denali — because when you’re the President I guess you get to do shit like that.

Alaskans have been fighting to change the name of Mt. McKinley, named after 25th U.S. President William McKinley, to Denali, the traditional Alaskan name, since 1975, but have had to fight President McKinley’s home state of Ohio on the issue. Many Alaskans point out that McKinley never even visited Alaska, which became a state over 50 years after he was assassinated.

From USA Today:

Mount McKinley — the 20,237-foot mountain and the tallest in North America — has been renamed Denali, as it was originally known by Alaska Natives before it was renamed to honor President William McKinley.

The mountain, which sits in the 6 million-acre Denali national park, has been known as Denali in Alaska since 1975. Under an order signed by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, the Denali name will also take effect for all federal usage and, therefore, on all official maps.

The order was signed Friday, but the White House asked that it be announced Monday as part of Obama’s trip to Alaska to highlight the effects of climate change in the Arctic. The White House said the name change “recognizes the sacred status of Denali to generations of Alaska Natives.”

Denali, meaning “the great one” in the Athabaskan language of Alaska natives, was the original name of the mountain. But when European Americans discovered it in the 19th century, they renamed it Densmore’s Mountain and, later, Mount McKinley in an effort to boost the presidential candidacy of Republican William McKinley.

But as Jewell noted in her order, “President McKinley never visited, nor did he have any significant historical connection to, the mountain or to Alaska.”

The name became official with the Mount McKinley National Park Act in 1917.

I can’t wait to see what President Trump renames it after he is elected. Trump Yellowstone National Park Resort And Casino? The Appalachian Trail Brought To You By Trump Towers? The possibilities are endless when a real estate mogul like Donald Trump is involved.

The move has angered a lot of Americans, but enthused mapmakers around the world — who will finally be able to sell a new version of the U.S. map for the first time in years. If you have ever wondered what the perks of being President were outside of living the lavish White House lifestyle, just know you have the opportunity to just rename mountains, too.

[via USA Today]

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