Group Looks to Change Name of Devils Tower
On Sept. 24, 1906 our nation's leader named the country's very first national monument. President Theodore Roosevelt declared that a powerful rock formation in northeast Wyoming was to be called Devils Tower National Monument.
Over the past 110 years that name has caused a lot of controversy, especially from local Native Americans. They say the title was actually based on an incorrect translation, and it belittles the formation's religious significance.
At least 26 affiliated tribes consider the landmark a sacred site.
Spiritual Leader of the Great Sioux nation, Arvol Looking Horse, hopes to change the rock formation's title through a petition. He hopes to rename the area Bear Lodge and the actual monument Bear Lodge National Monument.
The argument from those who oppose the name change is that it would be unnecessary at this point in the game. The change would only cause confusion and potentially hurt the monument's tourism.
This petition comes just months after South Dakota's highest point, Harney Peak, was renamed to Black Elk Peak.
On a side note: the reason it is Devils Tower instead of Devil's Tower (with the apostrophe) was a simple typographic error on the document that declared it America's first national monument in 1906. No one caught the error and it has never been corrected.
Source: Fox News, The Associated Press