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Obama Renames Tallest Mountain in North America

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President Obama has declared that Alaska’s Mount McKinley, the tallest peak in North America, is officially renamed Denali.

In a nod to the region’s native people, the White House has moved to officially rename Mount McKinley as Mount Denali.

The 20,320-foot peak was long-called Denali, meaning “the high one,” or the “great one,” by indigenous Alaskans, until it was rebranded in 1896 in honor of then-President William McKinley.

There has been an ongoing campaign since 1975 to revert the mountain to its original name, and for years the peak has been referred to as Denali by Alaskans and the climbing community.

The park that contains Mount McKinley was named Denali National Park in 1980, but the mountain maintained the former president’s name on federal documents. Attempts to rename the mountain have been frequently blocked by lawmakers from McKinley’s home state of Ohio.

Most recently, a bill asking to rename the mountain was introduced by Republican Senators from Alaska.

The president aims to put an end to the centuries-long debate by officially renaming the mountain during his visit to Alaska this week, before continuing a three-day trip around the state arguing for more action on climate change.

The mountain’s official name change will also serve as a lead-in to a series of meetings with members of native population to discuss ways the federal government can help them.

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Obama Renames Tallest Mountain in North America