Lake Calhoun getting a name change?

2:37 PM, May 20, 2011   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS -- You have walked around it and picnicked on its shores but have you every really taken the time to find out who the Calhoun is behind Lake Calhoun?

John Winters has.

A small amount of research shows that the lake was named after former Secretary of War, Vice President and South Carolina Senator John C. Calhoun.

The lake was dedicated and named after Calhoun in 1823.

But in the years that followed, John C. Calhoun became one of the most outspoken advocates of slavery.

"I am looking at all of this information on Calhoun and the more I see, I think this is one of the worst people ever born in this country," Winters said Thursday night.

It is true. Calhoun called slavery a positive for the country and until he the day he died, just a decade before the civil war, he travelled to the states to advocate his pro slavery ideas.

"He was an outspoken proponent of slavery," Minneapolis Parks Board member Brad Bourn said of Calhoun.

Bourn and the board have been presented with John Winters idea to re-name the lake and, at this point, the issue will have to go to a public hearing in the next several months.

"Typically, when someone nominates a name change for the larger part of two years, we take in public input before we make a decision," Bourn said of the long process to rename a large park property like Lake Calhoun.

And a change would affect a lot of things, lot re-signing the lake and possibly re-naming the streets around it that have the name Calhoun in them.

(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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