Prado Dam Mural
200 Years of Freedom   20 Years of Neglect

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The History of the Prado Bicentennial Mural
The Mt. Rushmore of the West

Prado Dam color photo
Mount Rushmore photo

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 had been elected.  People had been down on the country for some time, but with the bicentennial coming, things were about to change.  Cities were planning events and painting fire plugs and other city  properties with 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 historical artifacts.

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 then took it to the Student Body at Corona High, where the idea gained momentum.  The Army Corps of Engineers loved the idea of a Patriotic mural, the school ran a contest for the best design and David contacted hardware stores in the area to donate paint.

Corona students, 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 Ron considered was, what cities across  America had in common, the sounds of bells in the churches bringing people together. "Why not use the Liberty Bell".  The heartfelt slogan"200 YEARS OF FREEDOM" which was paid for with our Countries blood,and treasury.  Ron and his friend each won a $50 savings bond that Ron has till this day.

But the work had just begun, David organized 30 students who camped out over two weekends at the dam.  Another volunteer brought some sort of 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 paint on the spillway and used rollers to work it in. 

Corky Davis paint Prado Dam Bicentennial Mural 1976
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 can't 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 Freedom.

Prado Dam Mural being painted in 1976
Students Painting the Liberty Bell Crack 1976

The mural was completed in May of 1976.  Many high school students from Chino to Norco, who you would expect to be cynical, actually loved it and saw it as a point of pride.

Certificate of Recognition by the Army Corps of Engineers
Certificate of Recognition Awarded to Dave Di Paolo from Army Corps of Engineers July 1976

Story of the Prado Dam and Mural Playlist

Many thanks to all of 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.

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This website and effort to protect and restore our patriotic rights is done in the name of the Most High God and by His Provision  We further claim the Prado Dam Spillway in the name of Jesus for the continued display of the bicentennial mural and the message of freedom it gives to all Americans that pass by.  Mural and website protected by the cross of Christ.