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Class Notes

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Class of 1976 met in the mess hall for a plaque unveiling

Class of '76 unveiling of Mural at Mess Hall

In recognition of their 2002 Bicentennial gift to the Cadet Mess Hall Mural Restoration project, several members of the Class of 1976 met in the mess hall for a plaque unveiling during mandatory dinner on Thursday, 25 October.

The “Panorama of Military History”, which took artist Thomas Loftin Johnson nearly a year to paint in egg tempera, was completed in 1936.  Environmental factors such as cold, moisture, and dryness, in addition to the occasional food fight, had taken a toll on the mural by the turn of the century. 

Joining the Class of 1976 for the unveiling was COL Samuel Johnson, USCC Chief of Staff.  Representatives from the class included Bob Lynch, Joe Dubyel, Rich Chappo, Scott MacKay, Tim Sweeney, and Class Fundraising Chair Kim Campbell.

 

PANORAMA OF MILITARY HISTORY

Mural in Southwest Wing of the Cadet Mess Hall,
restored in part by a generous gift from the Class of 1976

The Mural:

Was completed by Thomas Loftin Johnson, who spent a year planning, researching, and creating preliminary drawings of the mural before executing the final work.

Was finished in 1936, done in egg tempera on plaster, and took a year to complete.

Covers an area of 2,450 square feet; it is 70 long and 35 feet high.'76 plaque at West Point Mess Hall

Was commissioned as a Federal Art Project under the Works Progress Administration.

Depicts 20 great historical battles, arranged in historical sequence, that were decisive in charting the course of civilization. Military dress and weapons are authentic. The arms history begins with the bow and arrow used by Cyrus at Babylon through the use of aircraft and the use of the 14 inch Howitzer in World War I.
Was accepted on behalf of the United States Military Academy by General John J. Pershing in 1936 as part of graduation ceremonies.

Earned T. Loftin Johnson a weekly salary of $30, with a $20 a week allowance for his assistant.

Is one of the largest unbroken interior paintings in the world.

West Point so captivated T. Loftin Johnson that he requested that his cremated remains be placed in the wall under the mural with a simple brass plate indicating his name and “Gave his best to West Point”. This request, for reasons lost in history, was never accommodated.

LISTING OF MURAL SCENES AND CHARACTERS AS PAINTED IN WASHINGTON HALL

ANCIENT HISTORY

CYRUS AT BABYLON 558 B.C.
MILITIADES AT MARATHON 490 B.C.
ALEXANDER THE GREAT AT ARBELA 331 B.C.
NERO AT METAURUS 207 B.C.
ARMINIUS AT TEUTOBURGER FOREST 9 A.D.

MEDIEVAL HISTORY

GRANADA AND COLUMBUS 1492
MOHAMMED II AT CONSTANTINOPLE 1453
CRECY 1346
JEAN D’ ARC AT ORLEANS 1429
RICHARD COEUR D’ LION 1157 -1199
WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR AT HASTINGS 1066
CHARLES MARTEL AT TOURS 732
AETIUS AT CHALONS 451

MODERN HISTORY

GUSTAVUS AT LUTZAN 1632
MARLBOROUGH AT BLENHEIM 1704
PETER THE GREAT AT PULTOVA 1709
GATES AT SARATOGA 1777
FREDERICK THE GREAT 1712 - 1786
KELLERMAN AT VALMY 1792
WELLINGTON AND NAPOLEON AT WATERLOO 1816
MEADE AT GETTYSBURG 1863
JOFFRE AT THE MARNE 1914