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Posts tagged as “Denali”

First take

I last visited Alaska almost exactly 30 years ago, and drove with a friend from Anchorage to Fairbanks. Along the way we came to the park that included Alaska's, and the United States', highest peak. It was commonly referred to locally as Mount Denali. (At the time I had for some reason a hard time remembering the name.) The name came from a native phrase roughly meaning The Great One, and Alaskans seemed to like that, and it took on currency from the time the state began so referring to it years before I visited. Alaskans have since. Former Governor Sarah Palin referred to the mountain as Denali when she delivered her departure speech. So President Barack Obama's declaration in Alaska this week that the federal government now considers it to be "Mount Denali" should settle pretty easily, even if the peak formerly known as Mount McKinley - named for the 25th president, William McKinley, who never visited Alaska - is now a cause taken up by Ohio Republicans, whose state was the long-ago president's home. "Disrespectful," said one member of Congress. But you suspect that the move toward respect for the state and its natives are more likely to prevail. - rs