Remembering Mr. Rogers Neighborhood
Fred Rogers, educator and songwriter, Presbyterian minster and puppeteer.
Wearer of zippered cardigan sweaters, knit by his mother.
His calm, soothing voice reassured us that we were good people.
It is not surprising to read that he neither smoke nor drank.
On this day, 45 years ago, on February 19, 1968, he launched Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
It ran for 895 episodes, over 33 years, until August 31, 2001.
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” its theme song, opened the show.
Mr. Rogers always took off his shoes and put on sneakers after he walked in the door, hung up his jacket and put on a sweater.
The sneakers started when he was working on another show and his shoes made too much noise while the show was being broadcast and he walked around in the studio.
Sneakers were quiet.
They became his trademark.
Rogers started his children’s show because he thought children’s television programming was too influenced by advertisers and merchandising.
A year after his program started, it moved to the Public Broadcasting System (PBS).
PBS is a non-profit distributor of television shows.
It is a collective of public television stations, owned by its members, who pay fees for the shows they broadcast.
PBS and PBS Kids also distribute Sesame Street, Teletubbies, Thomas the Tank Engine, Barney and Friends and Bob the Builder.
Click here for an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood – Be Yourself.
He takes us to an imaginary neighborhood with the trolley, where Prince Tuesday learns that people can’t fly without airplanes.
He introduces us to the individual and blended sounds of a string quartet and the musicians that play the instruments.
Simple, soothing, education in life and world lessons for preschoolers.
What do you remember about Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood?
Did you know he trained to be a minister?
Do you remember his sweaters? His sneakers?
To you and giving your grandchildren trusted adults.
Carol Covin, Granny-Guru