MINNEAPOLIS -- The one man crusade to re-name the gem of the Minneapolis chain of lakes, Lake Calhoun, just hit a speed bump.
Several weeks ago John Winters made his case to the Minneapolis Parks Board to re-name Calhoun after learning its name sake was the 19th century South Carolina politician, John C. Calhoun.
Calhoun was a U.S. Senator, Vice President, Secretary of War and outspoken advocate for maintaining slavery in the United States.
"He was the primo bigot. Not a bigot, the number one promoter of slavery," Winters said Monday.
Winters learned Monday changing the Lake's name doesn't lie within the authority of the Minneapolis Parks Board.
Parks spokesperson Dawn Sommers says the Board's legal counsel advised her last week of this fact and that the authority of renaming the lake lies with the state of Minnesota.
That news, while a bit of a bummer to Winters, isn't a deterrent.
"If the city parks board can't do it the other way might be a charter amendment to the city," Winters said brainstorming ideas.
He says he just can't sit with the lake having Calhoun as its namesake.
"He was one of the great leaders of the 19th century and he led the wrong way. Everything he did at some point in his life revolved around the preservation of slavery," Winters said.
On Wednesday the Parks Board will meet to discuss the legal findings of its attorney.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)