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of the Prado Bicentennial Mural
The Mt. Rushmore of the West
It was a million to one shot
that a patriotic mural of this magnitude,
could ever have come together. Especially when you consider Mt.
Rushmore is 60 feet tall by 185 feet wide and the Prado Dam mural would
be 120 feet tall by 664 feet long with a 40 degree slope.
It was 1976, the Vietnam War was over and a new President
elected. People had been down on the country for some time, but
the bicentennial coming, things were about to change. Cities were
planning events and painting fire plugs and other city properties
the red, white and blue.
On their own, a group of business men put
together the Freedom Train, that rolled across the country and even
stopped at the Pomona Fairgrounds, just a few miles from the Prado Dam
Mural. On board was a copy of the constitution and other
1976 Freedom Train
That's the year Corona High student, Terry Smith, told her Activities
Coach David DiPiaolo about her idea for the dam's spillway. David
took it to the Student Body at Corona High, where the idea gained
momentum. The Army Corps of Engineers loved the idea of a
mural, the school ran a contest for the best design and David contacted
hardware stores in the area to donate paint.
Ron Kammeyer and a friend hung out in the
back yard of
his parent's house to think about the contest. One of the things
considered was, what cities across America had in common, the
bells in the churches bringing people together. "Why not use the
Liberty Bell". The heartfelt slogan"200 YEARS OF FREEDOM" which
paid for with our Countries blood,and treasury. Ron and his
won a $50 savings bond that Ron has till this day.
But the work had just begun, David organized 30 students who
over two weekends at the dam. Another volunteer brought some
projector, or possibly a laser sight, in order to measure the mural for
chalk lines. The project was so massive they ended up pouring the
on the spillway and used rollers to work it in.
Corky Davis Painting
the Prado Dam Bicentennial Mural 1976
Though it started with one person, it was truly a group effort, from
the mom's who fed the army of students, to all those who selflessly
worked to make the mural a reality. Through peace time, wars and
tragedy, their work has been an inspiration to millions. It also
be emphasized enough, what its meant to our veterans who have given so
much, to see their country honor them with the words 200 Years Of
the Liberty Bell Crack 1976
The mural was completed in May of 1976. Many high school students
Chino to Norco, who you would expect to be cynical, actually loved it
and saw it as a point of pride.
Recognition Awarded to Dave Di Paolo from Army Corps of Engineers July
Story of the
Prado Dam and Mural Playlist
Many thanks to all
you who are
honoring the spirit of 76
by adding your voice to preserve this American treasure.
Watch The Nation's Birthday Party and More.