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Here’s How Denali Became Mount McKinley in the First Place

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President Barack Obama announced Sunday that he would restore the original Native American name to the tallest peak in North America: Mount McKinley will once again be Denali.

Ohio lawmakers vowed to battle the decision, arguing that the name change would dishonor one of the state’s most famous personages, former U.S. President William McKinley, from whom the mountain derived its name. “This political stunt is insulting to all Ohioans,” said state lawmaker Bob Gibbs.

The idea of changing the mountain’s name is not a new one—in the 1970s, for example, Alaska’s state government made a serious effort to persuade the federal government to do what Obama has just done. As explained by a TIME story about that legal battle, the name “McKinley” was itself the product of a surprisingly personal political spat:

The mountain’s name was a fluke. As local historians tell it, in 1896 W.A. Dickey, an ornery gold prospector and one of the first U.S. explorers in the area, fell into an argument with two supporters of William Jennings Bryan and his free-silver movement. The prospector retaliated by naming the mountain after the champion of the gold standard, then Presidential Candidate William McKinley. The name stuck and gradually worked its way into maps and books. Now there is virtually no resistance in the state to the proposed name change [to Denali]. Few Alaskans feel that the long-dead President deserves the honor. Says Anchorage Daily News Publisher Kay Fanning: “McKinley never got near it.”

At the time, Ohio Congressman Ralph S. Regula was the one to respond with outrage, writing to TIME to dispute the idea that Alaskans wanted the switch, and to question the relevance of whether McKinley had visited the mountain or not. “It would be interesting to see if other Alaskan landmarks—Mount Foraker, Jefferson Peak, Fillmore Peak, Mount Cleveland, Grant Peak, Lincoln Island, Wilson Creek or Point Hayes—were visited by people for whom they were named,” he wrote. “All information I find indicates they were not.”

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