Monday, July 4, 2011

Red Skelton's Pledge of Allegiance

In this video, you will hear Red Skelton reference his hometown of Vincennes, Indiana. I'm sure few know that during the Revolutionary War, there was a pivotal Battle of Vincennes won by patriot, Lt. Colonel George Rogers Clark. The victory at Vincennes greatly weakened British influence in the Northwest Territory and was one of the greatest feats of the American Revolution.

Like Red Skelton, I was born in Vincennes and one of the strongest memories of my childhood there was of my grandmother taking my brother and me to the George Rogers Clark Memorial.

- Reggie

1 comment:

VickieP said...

July 28, 2011

First Vincennes Savings Bank makes $100,000 donation to VU’s Red Skelton Museum

VINCENNES, Ind. - First Vincennes Savings Bank has donated $100,000 to the Red Skelton Museum and Education Center. Planned on the campus of Vincennes University, the facility will house multiple interactive displays, among them a patriotic exhibit that will reap the benefits of FVSB’s contribution.

Inspired by Red Skelton’s famous 1969 interpretation of the Pledge of Allegiance, the proposed Patriotism/Civic Responsibility display will be a testament to Skelton’s unwavering love for country and community. So overwhelming was the nation’s response to Red’s initial recitation of the Pledge, CBS stations sent over 450,000 copies of it to viewers across the U.S. who requested it.

Noting that this is the largest charitable donation ever made by First Vincennes, CEO Rick Catt said the bank is proud to be involved. “As a community financial institution, it is crucial to give back locally whenever possible. Donating to this great cause means we are not only helping to spread Red’s positive message to visitors of all ages, but we are also doing our part to support the University.”

Also speaking at the ceremony on behalf of the Bank was MaryCay Martin, Vincennes branch manager, and Bill Sandiford, vice president. Both said they are pleased the Bank could support such an important community project.

Bernie Niehaus, president and campaign chair of the Red Skelton Foundation, thanked First Vincennes Saving Bank for its generous donation. Niehaus said the bank’s donation brings the Foundation to 76 percent of its $4 million goal to open the museum. Niehaus said that based on this success the Foundation Board is committed to opening the museum in July 2013 - the 100th anniversary of Red Skelton’s birth in Vincennes.

The museum is part of a major music and arts facility on the Vincennes University campus. The Red Skelton Performing Arts Center features an 800-seat proscenium theatre capable of featuring of top national performing artists. The facility also has modern instructional classrooms and labs. The museum is a partnership between VU and the Red Skelton Museum Foundation.

In support of the museum’s mission to continue the legacy of Red Skelton through inspirational exhibits and education, his widow Lothian Skelton donated $5 million worth of Red’s personal and show business memorabilia that will be incorporated into a variety of exhibits. In cooperation with this mission, the City of Vincennes annually hosts a festival honoring Red Skelton that attracts clowns and visitors from a wide geographic area.


Located in southwestern Indiana and southeastern Illinois, First Vincennes Savings Bank has been serving area residents since 1883. With headquarters and major facilities in Vincennes and Robinson, IL, the bank has branches in Oblong and Palestine. FVSB is an independent, locally owned community bank providing financial services and products to surrounding communities.


Widely recognized as one of the pioneers of television in the 1950s, Red Skelton had one of the longest runs of any television show, a 20-year top-rated show that brought to life many legendary characters, such as Freddie the Freeloader. His career also spanned radio, movies, painting, and musical composition. Born in Vincennes in 1913, Skelton died in 1997, remembered as one of the nation’s most beloved entertainers. In his honor, VU opened the $20 million Red Skelton Performing Arts Center in 2006, located a short distance from Red’s birthplace home in Vincennes.


DUANE CHATTIN, Director of Public Information
812-888-4164 (office), 812-887-6397 (cell)

Department of University Relations
1002 N First St
Vincennes IN 47591