Obama Faces Backlash Over Renaming of Alaska Mountain

U.S. President Barack Obama is facing backlash from some Ohio lawmakers following his decision to rename Alaska's Mt. McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America, to Denali.

"This is not an arbitrary change," said White House press secretary Josh Earnest.  He described it as effort to align the policies of the federal government with how native Alaskans have long referred to the mountain.

Obama left Washington Monday for a three-day tour of Alaska to bring attention to climate change.  

The peak was named Mount McKinley in 1896 after a gold prospector exploring the region heard that Ohio resident William McKinley, a champion of the gold standard, had won the Republican nomination for president.

Ohio Representative and House Speaker John Boehner said he was deeply disappointed by the decision to rename the mountain. READ MORE ON THIS STORY FROM VOA NEWS

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