Several years ago (1994) during park renovations, the image of the Alaskan mountain Denali was installed at the Bay Ridge Parkway entrance to McKinley Park, a wedge of green between Fort Hamilton Parkway, 7th Avenue and 73rd Street in Bay Ridge amid a now-deteriorating image of the state of Alaska. The park was dedicated in 1903 and named for the recently assassinated President William McKinley. He was elected in 1900 as the 25th President of the USA and first one in the 20th Century; the Spanish-American War was waged under his presidency and as the spoils of the victory over Spain, the USA had annexed Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the Philippines. McKinley was assassinated by an anarchist in September 1901 and was succeeded by Theodore Roosevelt.
The peak, North America’s highest at over 20,000 feet, was not named in honor of the deceased president — it was named in 1895 by supporters of McKinley’s candidacy. The name was formally recognized only in 1917, but for centuries, Native Americans had called it Denali. This original name was formally recognized by the Department of the Interior on August 28, 2015. While the mountain was in Russian territory, it was called bolshaya gora, a translation of the the original term Denali, meaning ‘high’ or ‘tall.’