The Corner

Culture

A Mountain in Alaska

Lord O waved his wand, and we’re to call the mountain in Alaska “Denali,” not “McKinley.” This act prompted an essay from me: “Goodbye, McKinley: The rise and fall of names.” You can find it on the homepage, here.

After reading my essay, Rick Brookhiser made a point about a street in New York — an avenue. In 1945, the City Council renamed Sixth Avenue the “Avenue of the Americas.” This was supposed to honor “Pan-American ideals and principles.” But the name never really caught on. New Yorkers stubbornly continued to call the street “Sixth Avenue.”

I’d like to share a letter with you, too. It comes from a regular, and wise, reader:

Jay,

Sometimes you can fight City Hall.

As a young officer, I had government quarters on Sargent Court at Fort Benning, Ga. The post engineers came into money and put up new street signs all over the post. I noticed that somehow “Sargent Court” had changed into “Sergeant Court.” [Probably people thought they were correcting a misspelling.]

Something’s not right, I thought. I took it upon myself to investigate, and then, cheeky junior officer that I was, wrote a letter to the Post Engineer, informing him of the situation, with a copy of the Congressional Medal of Honor citation for 1st Lt. Ruppert Sargent.

I put the letter in distribution on Monday. When I got home Thursday night, there was a new, correct sign on Sargent Court.

Brilliant.

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