On a recent visit to Oakdale, I enjoyed your story on the American history mural at Oakdale High School. At the same time, since it was painted and mounted when I was an OHS student in the 1960s, I was saddened to think that our local history gets lost so quickly.
I believe the mural was painted in 1966-67, my Senior year at OHS. One of the artists and, I think, the leader of the team, was Becky Corrigan, the best artist in our class. Several students were involved, working on the project during art classes and after school. I had the privilege of joining them for a very small part of the painting; I recall working on a muddy Civil War road.
It seems likely that the artists would have signed their work somewhere on one of the panels. Also, has anyone checked the archives of the student newspaper (then The Arcadet) for a story about this project?
I think that for us who had lived through the promise of a new beginning for our country with the election of President John F. Kennedy, only to see it dashed to pieces with his assassination in our Freshman year, this mural expressed our patriotism, idealism, and love for the U.S. as a nation truly dedicated to “liberty and justice for all.” Now we know that it is still very much a work in progress, like the proposed extension of the mural.
All the best to the new generation of artists!
The Rev. James K. Graham
OHS Class of 1967