Swastika Mountain in Oregon’s Umpqua National Forest outside of Eugene has been renamed Mount Halo to honor a local indigenous leader, Chief Halito of the Yoncalla Kalapuya tribe. The mountain’s former name wasn’t connected to the Nazi Party but to a cattle ranch from the early 1900s that used the swastika symbol for branding, which originally meant “good fortune” or “well-being.”
Last summer, 81-year-old Joyce McClain petitioned to have the peak renamed:
McClain said she knows the mountain’s name had innocent origins, and that some people aren’t fans of swapping out historical names, but she felt Swastika was no longer appropriate and needed to change. Looking back on it all, she’s happy she saw the whole thing through.
“I was glad I could do this,” McClain told NPR. “One person can really make a difference. People don’t think so, but this proves that one person can, no matter who they are.”