Skip to main content

There's a petition to change name of Lake Calhoun in wake of South Carolina shooting

  • Author:
  • Updated:

People are petitioning to change the name of Minneapolis' Lake Calhoun in the wake of a mass shooting that left nine people dead at a historic African American church in Charleston, South Carolina last week.

The shooting is being investigated as a hate crime, and since then many – including politicians – have been calling for the Confederate flag to be removed from the South Carolina capitol building because some believe it represents hate, slavery and white supremacy.

Now calls to remove other similar symbols is extending across the nation – including to Minneapolis, where the symbol is not a flag, but the name of a popular Twin Cities lake.

Lake Calhoun – Minneapolis largest lake – was named after John C. Calhoun, a U.S. Senator from South Carolina, who also served as vice president and secretary of war. As secretary of war, he ordered that a fort be established in the region – that fort became Fort Snelling, according to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.

But Calhoun was also known as an avid supporter of slavery.

"Calhoun went as far as to call slavery 'a positive good.' His name and legacy should not be honored anywhere," the petition says. The petition, which had more than 120 signatures as of Sunday afternoon, continues, saying:

"While changing the name of a lake will not, in itself, bring an end to injustice, it can and should be an important step in an ongoing effort to confront our nation's past and to end systemic racism and oppression today."

And the idea has the support of some members of the Minneapolis Park Board.

Park Board Commissioner Brad Bourn told KARE 11, "I think Minneapolitans and Minnesotans have a different set of values than what – when you really think about it – the name of Lake Calhoun represents."

This isn't the first time there has been a push to change the name of the lake – one began in 2011, but stalled, KARE 11 notes. At that time, people suggested it be renamed Lake Humphrey.

Next Up


Charges: Armed man made death threats at Minneapolis LGBTQ bar

The man allegedly used derogatory terms while threatening to kill someone.


FDA pulls last COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment as new variants rise

A therapy used to treat more than 11,000 Minnesotans is no longer authorized amid a surge in the latest COVID-19 variants.

Austin Robert LeClaire

Charges: Plymouth man shot girlfriend in head after birthday party

The 23-year-old victim is in critical condition as of Friday.


State announces $2.5M in grants for child care providers

Child care providers in roughly a dozen communities will receive funds to help grow the supply of affordable, quality child care.


Probe of Golden Valley police uncovers racism, alleged misconduct

One officer was terminated for alleged racist comments and violations of state law.

blowing snow

Blowing snow Friday in Minnesota; will it snow next week?

Winds could gust up to 50 mph Friday afternoon and night.

Deer hunting blaze orange

To combat CWD, late-season deer hunting announced for 9 areas of MN

The special hunts will be held between Dec. 16 and 18.


COVID levels rising in wastewater; BQ.1 now dominant

BQ.1 is the new dominant subvariant in Twin Cities wastewater.

Screen Shot 2022-12-02 at 11.43.05 AM

Keith Ellison, other AGs settle with CarMax over recall disclosures

As part of the settlement, CarMax now must disclosure open recalls online and on the lot.

police lights squad car

Man kidnaps 2-year-old daughter in St. Paul, crashes after pursuit in Minneapolis

The incident involved both police departments in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

police lights

Boys aged 15, 16 arrested after shooting of teen in Woodbury

The victim suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.


Lake Calhoun signs vandalized after the name change vote

Someone doesn't agree with the decision to rename Lake Calhoun.

Lake Calhoun signs vandalized after the name change vote

Someone doesn't agree with the decision to rename Lake Calhoun.

Court of Appeals rules Lake Calhoun-Bde Maka Ska name change illegal

It says the DNR commissioner didn't have the power to change the name.

Lake Calhoun

DNR to appeal ruling on Bde Maka Ska–Calhoun name change

The Court of Appeals has ruled the name change illegal.