King's name forever linked to local history

[Columnist Michael Powell's] comments about Vice President [William Rufus] King and his connection with the naming of our county ["Should King County Honor William Rufus King?" June 2007) was interesting. I might quibble with "honoring" W. R. King ("noting" or "commemorating," maybe), but his name is permanently linked with our local history.

In the past I have occasionally reminded my contacts in King County government that W.R. King cannot be erased from our local history. Renaming the county for [the Rev.] Martin Luther King [Jr.] is a worthy change, but that doesn't mean we should follow the Soviet style of pretending everything before the revolution didn't happen. This type of tinkering is unacceptable and not in line with professional history standards.

Anyway, thanks for bringing the matter up again - probably to little avail.

The issue you raise reminds me of another conumdrum: The term "Skid Road" is directly traced to Seattle's waterfront history, yet The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and other reputable publications relentlessly refer to "Skid Row." I gave up trying to fix that also.

Junius Rochester

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