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Mount McKinley Or Denali: The Naming Controversy Of North America's Tallest Peak


At 20,310 feet, which is the highest mountain in North America, Mount McKinley or Denali? Trick Question- They are the same mountain. The Alaska peak is known as Denali, a Koyukon verb meaning "to be tall or tall" which evolved into a noun meaning "the tall one", from ancient times to native peoples. In 1867, however, the United States purchased Alaska from Russia, and nearly 30 years later, a gold prospector and President McKinley fanboy who had moved to the area named William Dickey, named the Crown Jewel of Denali National Park "Mount McKinley". Started saying.

The moniker caught on after Dickey was quoted in the New York Sun about the mountain, and after the assassination of President McKinley in 1901, a growing movement to honor his memory with the official renaming of North America's tallest mountain pushed off. In 1917, Congress officially renamed Mount McKinley Mountain, but Alaska Natives continued to call it by its traditional name.

Camp 17,200 feet (5,200 m) high on Denali.

In 1975, the Alaska State Legislature filed a motion with the American Board of Geographic Names to restore its mountain name, but they were blocked by a group of congressmen from McKinley's home state of Ohio. The matter was brought to the board year after year, always with the same result, so the two sides reached an agreement: Mount McKinley National Park was renamed Denali National Park, but the mountain's official name remained the same.

Alaska politicians, however, remained unsatisfied, so in 2015, President Barack Obama and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell took action, pointing to a 1947 law that empowers the secretary to act on measures when geographic names The board fails to do so. a reasonable time frame. Just before the 100th anniversary celebrations of the park, the mountain was officially named Denali, as it remains today.

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