It’s A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood: A Look Back At Mr. Rogers

Mr. Rogers’ Famous Wardrobe

At the beginning of every show, Mr. Rogers would enter the scene and open the closet door. He would remove his jacket and put on one of his sweaters. Apparently, his never-ending sweater supply was actually made up of handmade sweaters made by his mother. He said that he wore the sweaters during each show because it was his way of saying hello to his mom.

Mr. Rogers’ Famous Wardrobe

The second thing Mr. Rogers would do is change his shoes and put on sneakers. During the shows early years, Mr. Rogers actually did a lot of the puppeteering. He claimed that the tennis shoes were quieter to move around on set than any other shoes, so sneakers it was!

Mr. Rogers on TV and the Characters He Played

Mr. Rogers got his start in TV because he hated TV. He said, “I went into television because I hated it so, and I thought there was some way of using this fabulous instrument to be of nurture to those who would watch and listen.” He instead thought he could use TV to spread a message of good instead of ugliness. This actually went along with Mr. Rogers’ other career choice, which was being an ordained minister. Mr. Rogers actually attained his Bachelor of Divinity degree and was ordained in 1962. He felt that his work through the TV show of engaging and teaching students coincided perfectly with his position as a United Presbyterian Church minister.

Mr. Rogers on TV and the Characters He Played

Mr. Rogers played various puppets on the show but otherwise when seen on camera he behaved as his true self. He said that children were smart and thoughtful and could tell if you were being inauthentic. He said, “One of the greatest gifts you can give anybody is the gift of your honest self. I also believe that kids can spot a phony a mile away.” Additionally, some of the puppets he played were King Friday XIII, Queen Sara Saturday, Henrietta Pussycat, Daniel Striped Tiger, Lady Elaine Fairchild, Donkey Hodie, Collette, Cornflake S. Pecially, Edgar Cooke, Grandpere, X the Owl, Ino A. Horse, and Larry Horse.

Challenging Sight

If you watch a Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood episode now, you’ll notice that he is constantly explaining everything he is doing, which even applied to feeding his fish. He began doing this after getting a letter from a young blind girl who would listen to his show. She said that she wanted to know what was happening, so he began to describe what he was doing so he could “show” her and other children like her.

Challenging Sight

Mr. Rogers actually had his own vision problems; he had red-green color blindness. The condition causes people to have difficulty distinguishing between red, green, orange, and brown. Some people with this condition also have issues telling purple and blue apart. Red-green color blindness or “deuteranopia” is actually the most common type of color blindness.

Mr. Roger’s Learning Props and Daniel Tiger

An interesting fact about the famous little red trolley that comes around the tracks every episode is that it would travel about 5,000 miles in only one year of filming. Wow! Another interesting prop tidbit is that there were not any hands on Daniel Striped Tiger’s clock in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. Mr. Rogers purposely did this because the goal of his show was for kids to use their imagination. He touted that if there were no hands on the clock, they could imagine it was any time they wanted it to be.

Mr. Roger’s Learning Props and Daniel Tiger

Daniel Striped Tiger was actually one of the first characters Rogers created. His first appearance was on the show The Children’s Corner, one of Mr. Rogers first shows, in 1955. Currently, a new generation of kids can still experience the magic of Mr. Rogers through the spin-off cartoon Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. The animated show started on PBS in 2012, and Daniel Tiger teaches kids about issues like dealing with feelings. The new show has already won many awards and was nominated for the Television Critics’ Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming.

Interesting Stories About Mr. Rogers’ Puppets

Some of the most famous parts of Mr. Rogers’ show are all of the puppets who all had very interesting names. For instance, Prince Tuesday got his name because he was born in episode #1117, which aired on a Tuesday. One of the characters named Lady Elaine Fairchilde, was found in The Land of Make Believe, and many children found her to be scary while others found her inspiring. Although some critics say her voice and appearance are disturbing, others tout her as an early feminist role model. Lady Fairchilde was both independent and confident.

Interesting Stories About Mr. Rogers’ Puppets

Another interesting fact is that a mother/daughter duo worked on the show. Audrey Ross and her daughter Adair both played many different characters between the two of them including Swan Mother, Monkey’s Aunt, Audrey Cleans Everything, Miss Paulifficate, Mother Elephant, Angelfish and Prince Tuesday. The actors who played the characters Mr. and Mrs. McFeely also spoke of how much it meant to be on the show. David Newell portrayed character Mr. McFeely who was the deliveryman in the neighborhood. He said he was a lifelong friend of Mr. Rogers. He said that, “Working with Fred Rogers was like receiving a master’s degree in child development. Fred taught by example, and he was subtle – but suddenly you’d realize that, after working side by side with him, your knowledge base had expanded almost beyond description,” he said. His character’s wife on the show was also played by one of the writers named Betty Seamans.

Field Trips and Favorite Episodes

Mr. Rogers regularly took his audience along on different educational field trips. Some of the places he visited were the zoo, the museum, a factory, and a theater. He even got on a school bus and visited the dentist! Surely, another favorite kids show, The Magic School Bus, was inspired by his educational field trips.

Field Trips and Favorite Episodes

One of the episodes that is almost always listed as a fan favorite is when he and some children are able to visit a crayon factory and take a tour. They were even able to see real crayons being made. The field trip took place in the episode “Competition,” which also showcased a drawing contest held in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

Mr. Rogers Was an Author and Musician

In addition to being one of the most beloved TV personalities of all time, Mr. Rogers also had several other talents including writing and playing music. Mr. Rogers was a prolific writer, and authored more than thirty-six books. Some of his books are titled Going to the Doctor, Moving, Going to the Hospital, Going to Day Care, Making Friends, The New Baby, Going to the Potty, When a Pet Dies, and The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember. The majority of Mr. Rogers’ books were like his show, and were meant to help children navigate through life and deal with any difficult situations.

Mr. Rogers Was an Author and Musician

Mr. Rogers was also a trained composer. He was the composer of all the original songs that were heard on the show. He was a perfectionist when it came to music and his television program, he was very thorough and made sure everything was done correctly. He said that children deserved to have television programs that were as good as programming created for adults.

An Emotional Moment

Over the years, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood won four Emmy awards, and Fred Rogers was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Daytime Emmys in 1997. He made only a brief statement as his acceptance speech, but it was more moving than speeches thrice its length.

An Emotional Moment

He said, “All of us have special ones who have loved us into being. Would you just take, along with me, ten seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are. Ten seconds of silence, I’ll watch the time.” He paused for those ten seconds, looking at his watch. When the ten seconds were up, he said, “May God be with you.” The crowd was visibly moved and you can watch the moment here; prepare for the waterworks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGHKAWdmGvI

Mr. Rogers’ Love of Animals

Mr. Rogers was truly a lover of all living things. One famous show featured Koko the gorilla who has become famous for her use of sign language and her love of people and other animals. Koko loved to watch Mr. Rogers show and was a big fan of his. In 1998 Mr. Rogers recounted his first meeting with Koko saying, “Koko watches Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and when Mister Rogers, in his sweater and sneakers, entered the place where she lives, Koko immediately folded him in her long, black arms, as though he were a child, and then … “She took my shoes off.”

Mr. Rogers’ Love of Animals

Mr. Rogers famously put his money where his mouth was, so to speak, when it came to his love of animals. He was also vegetarian famously saying, “I don’t want to eat anything that has a mother.” Burger King, famous for their charbroiled meat, produced a commercial that parodied him and Mr. Rogers was not too pleased; he said the ads were “very confusing for children.” Burger King subsequently stopped airing the commercial.

Guest Appearances and Pop Culture References

Rogers became internationally known for his TV program and was asked to appear on a Soviet Union children’s show called Spokoynoy Nochi, Malyshi (Good Night, Little Ones). The show has been airing since 1964, and he was the first ever foreign guest. Mr. Rogers only appeared as a character on a TV show one time. In 1996, he appeared on the show Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman in a guest role as a ministry mentor.

Guest Appearances and Pop Culture References

Back when Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood was still airing, there was a recurring comedy sketch on Saturday Night Live, with Eddie Murphy lampooning Rogers in a parody called “Mister Robinson’s Neighborhood.” Eddie Murphy actually used the skit to call attention to the class and race issues. Specifically, he lived in a poverty stricken apartment and also discussed his legal issues. Murphy of course did this hilariously but was also used it to make a point. Mr. Rogers is still referenced in popular culture even within TV shows like Breaking Bad, where the character DEA agent Hank is describing a drug leader who lives a double sided life and says “It’s like Scarface had sex with Mister Rogers or something.”

Mr. Roger’s Tackling Lessons for Parents and Kids

Mr. Rogers is most famous for his TV programming aimed at teaching children and teaching them how to have confidence in themselves and learn about life and the world around them. He also created a show called Mister Rogers Talks To Parents About… which spoke directly to parents and typically focused on one specific issue at a time.

Mr. Roger’s Tackling Lessons for Parents and Kids

He aimed to help parents know how to deal with the problems and questions their children were facing. Mr. Rogers also approached many different topics and especially made time to tackle tough issues children face. For example, he had an episode #1101 which discusses what happens when a pet dies. Mr. Rogers held a small funeral for a pet fish.

Mr. Rogers’ Personality

Mr. Rogers initially studied at Dartmouth College but ended up leaving to enroll at Rollins College in Florida.He majored in Music Composition and also met his wife Sara. Many years later, in 2002, he returned to Dartmouth to deliver a commencement address. He said “So in all that you do, in all of your life, I wish you the strength and the grace to make those choices which will allow you and your neighbor to become the best of whoever you are. Congratulations to you all.” Mr. Rogers also felt that desks were constricting and made barriers between people so in his office in the studio he didn’t have one. Rather his office only had a leather recliner, a sofa, an easy chair, an old-school phone, and photographs.

Mr. Rogers’ Personality

When Mr. Roger’s got mad or frustrated, his favorite expression to mutter was “Mercy”. Even with the patience of a saint! Mr. Rogers did fairly well financially speaking and when he passed away had accumulated an estimated net worth of $8 million. However, for his whole life he lived in a modest home in Philadelphia and walked to work most days. Michael G. Long, Mr. Rogers biographer, comments on the question of if Mr. Rogers was gay. Long says, “Perhaps we should turn the camera lens toward ourselves and assure Fred Rogers that we like him just as he was: the opposite of machismo, a loving husband and father, a close friend and employer of gays, a man who grew to support at least one friend’s desire for an openly gay relationship and, above all else, a compassionate human being who assured each of us that, no matter who we are or what we do, we are always and everywhere lovable and capable of loving anyone. Just as they are.”

Rides and Asteroids Named for Mr. Rogers

In Pennsylvania, there exists a theme park named Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. The park was created in partnership with Fred Rogers Company. The park was built with the intention of carrying on Mr. Rogers’ legacy. The park has many different attractions for visitors to take advantage of including a life-sized trolley leading to a life-sized version of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. There, visitors, are able to interact with a variety of characters from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

Rides and Asteroids Named for Mr. Rogers

Mr. Rogers is also esteemed enough to have an actual asteroid named after him. Mr. Rogers was actually a huge astronomy fan, the asteroid is named 26858 Misterrogers. When The International Astronomical Union dedicated the asteroid they issued a statement saying, “Fred McFeely Rogers (1928–2003) was a tireless and passionate advocate for children who taught that everyone is unique and deserving of love and respect ‘just the way you are’. For more than 30 years he used his public television program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood as a vehicle of service to the youngest members of the human family.” What a beautiful sentiment!

Mr. Roger’s Was a Progressive Man

Mr. Rogers’ show, although a children’s show, featured some of the most progressive moments on television for the time it was made. For example, François Clemmons was an actor who played the neighborhood policeman, “Officer Clemmons” for 25 years He was one of the first African Americans to have a recurring role on a children’s series.

Mr. Roger’s Was a Progressive Man

Mr. Rogers was also somewhat of a breastfeeding advocate. During one episode, called “Food,” a variety of animal babies were showcased while they were eating from their mothers. Mr. Rogers included a human baby in the montage. And to think that today breastfeeding is still considered scandalous!

Interacting with Interesting Characters

Over the years, Mr. Rogers hosted a variety of interesting characters, and he also worked with some behind the scenes. In the 1970s he had The Wizard of Oz actress Margaret Hamilton, who played the Wicked Witch, on several episodes. Mr. Rogers wanted to remind children that even though she was scary in the movie, that it was all just pretend and in real life she was a nice person. Another similar incident involved the actor who played Big Bird on Sesame Street, Caroll Spinney.

Interacting with Interesting Characters

Spinney was asked to be a guest on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood in the 1960s. Mr. Rogers wanted Spinney to appear on the show and have him take off the Big Bird costume and show them how costumes and puppetry worked. However, Spinney refused saying he didn’t want to ruin the illusion of the character. He did end up appearing but only as Big Bird. Another interesting character is George Romero, who is also from Pennsylvania like Fred. George Romero was hired to work on films for the show and it was his very first film job. George Romero is, of course, a huge icon in the horror film world and considered to be the father of the zombie movie. He made such famous movies as Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead.

Mr.Rogers’ Affinity for Music

Being an avid musician himself, Mr. Rogers also had a huge affinity for music. He had jazz pianist Johnny Costa work as the Musical Director for the program for nearly 30 years. All the music was performed live, including the sound effects heard in each episode such as the trolley whistle, background music, and entry and exit music, by Costa and his trio. Johnny Costa passed away in 1996, and the show dedicated an episode to his memory.

Mr.Rogers’ Affinity for Music

In another episode, Mr. Rogers had the famous cellist, Yo Yo Ma as a guest. Mr. Rogers and Yo Yo Ma discussed their mutual love of music as well as how music can help us to express feelings and emotions, an important topic for all the children watching the program. Yo Yo Ma was later chosen as the first recipient of the Fred Rogers award. A beautiful story involving the Mr. Rogers’ theme song took place in New York. While taking the subway with a friend, the subway was also crowded with many school children. Instead of approaching him they all sang “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” turning the subway into a choir. If we know anything about Mr. Rogers by now it’s that he would have been extremely moved by such a moment.

Rumors and Facts About Mr. Rogers

There are a variety of interesting stories that circulate around Mr. Rogers. Let’s explore what is true and what is false. One story is that he had the habit of swimming laps every morning completely in the nude. This story is true! Wow, Mr. Rogers! Another often-heard rumor is that Mr. Rogers was once a sniper in the military and that he wore sweaters to hide all of his military tattoos. This one is false. Mr. Rogers never served in the military and considered himself a pacifist. Another story is that Mr. Rogers specifically watched his weight to be exactly 143 pounds. This one is true! Mr. Rogers said the number 143 means I love you; he said, “It takes one letter to say ‘I’ and four letters to say ‘love’ and three letters to say ‘you.’”

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Another popular rumor about Mr. Rogers is the story of his car being stolen. The story goes that the media did a story on the incident and the following day Mr. Rogers found his car back in its parking spot, along with a note that read, “If we’d known it was yours, we never would have taken it.” It is undetermined if this story is true or not. Lastly, a photo has circulated the internet purporting to show Mr. Rogers flipping off the camera. This is … kind of true. In actuality, Mr. Rogers was teaching the song “Where Is Thumbkin? In this song, the singer holds up each finger as they are named. So he did hold up his middle fingers but not for the reason commonly said. Although he does look quite amused; see for yourself in the video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBCMiJMLuB8

Mr. Rogers Involved With the Political?!

In the late 1960s, Mr. Rogers famously addressed the Senate regarding funding for public television. He only spoke for six minutes, yet he was able to ensure $20 million in funding for PBS. Mr. Rogers had addressed the Senate because President Nixon suggested that funding should be cut in half. Mr. Rogers was able to concisely state how this would have a devastating effect on children’s lives and learning. After his statements, John O. Pastore, who was the Chairman of the Subcommittee of Communications, said, “I’m supposed to be a pretty tough guy, and this is the first time I’ve had goosebumps for the last two days.”

Mr. Rogers Involved With the Political?!

Mr. Rogers also believed that individuals should be able to record television programs and said so in a testimony to Congress. And in other news, in 2010, Fox News stated that Fred Rogers was “an evil man” and that the children who watch his television program created “lazy entitled socialists” and that he had “unintentionally did a whole generation or two a disservice.” I suppose Fox News felt this way because Mr. Rogers touted the importance of kindness and loving one another. Ridiculous.

His Legacy Continues

Not long after Mr. Rogers retired, he was diagnosed with stomach cancer, and sadly passed away on February 27, 2003. He passed away in the comfort of his own home with his wife by his side. Mr. Rogers was a Pennsylvania native and the following day The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette dedicated its entire front page to him. Many people around the world grieved and paid tribute to him in their own special ways. Although he has departed this world, his legacy continues to live on and even grow as new generations watch his show, visit his theme park, or watch the spinoff Daniel Tiger. He is undoubtedly one of the most beloved TV personalities of all time.

His Legacy Continues

His production company came up with a clever idea to keep his memory alive, and particularly to commemorate what would have been his 80th birthday. They created “Won’t You Wear a Sweater Day.” Fans around the globe were told to take part in this new “holiday” to wear their own favorite sweater in honor of Mr. Rogers. They have continued the tradition and the day takes place every year on March 20th. In Philadelphia, there is the Fred Rogers Center which contains archives of more than 16,000 items from “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” The archive includes puppets and props along with other special Mr. Rogers items including Daniel Striped Tiger, the Neighborhood Trolley, X the Owl, scripts from the show, handwritten letters sent by Rogers, photographs, various awards, and even viewer mail.

You Can Still Visit Mr. Rogers

Although Mr. Rogers departed from this world, there are still many ways you can visit him. You could travel to Hollywood and visit Mr. Rogers star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame which he was awarded in 1998. His star is located on the south side of the 6500 block of Hollywood Boulevard if you ever feel like visiting him there. After Mr. Rogers passed away he was buried on a hilltop in the Unity Cemetery in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, which was also his birthplace, along with his mother, father, and other family members. There is a family mausoleum which bears the surname “Given.” If you wish to pay your respect you can find his burial site at the back of the cemetery.

You Can Still Visit Mr. Rogers

After his death, a friend of his also had a statue commissioned of him. It is located along the North Shore in Pittsburgh, and the statue is entitled the “Tribute to Children,” and was created by artist Robert Berks. Lastly, you can, of course, visit him by watching his show! If you visit PBS’ website there are many original Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood episodes available for viewing. PBS describes the videos by saying “in this variety of videos, children are not only introduced to people and places far beyond their own neighborhood, but also are invited to create a relationship with a trusted adult who addresses their inner feelings and concerns.” What a magnificent man and legacy Mr. Rogers left the to world.

Look For Helpers In A Time Of Sadness

Mr. Rogers had help growing into the man he would eventually become. It was his own mom who showed him how to view the world in a beautiful and positive way. When Mr. Rogers would see something scary on TV his mother would say “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

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Mr. Rogers would go on to spend his life as one of those people who were always there to help. He was eventually inducted into the TV Hall of Fame and won numerous Emmy’s for his work on one of the most heralded PBS TV series of all time. He is truly missed.

Mr. Rogers Explained Exactly Why He Likes YOU!

Mr. Rogers wanted everyone to understand what it truly means to like someone for more than how they talk or hear or touch.

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“When I say it’s you I like, I’m talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch,” he explained. “That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.” We will struggle today to come to terms with the very message Mr. Rogers has been spreading for decades.

You Have To Keep Working On Love

One of the most amazing parts of Mr. Rogers’ life was that he didn’t walk around with rose colored glasses on. Instead, he wanted us to realize that we have to work hard at love, life, and happiness.

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“Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like “struggle.” To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now,” he explained. That’s a lesson all of us can learn from as we grow older, with the people we fall in love with and care about.

He Wants Us All To Leave A Part Of Ourselves With Everyone We Meet

Fred Rogers understood that every person we meet can benefit from our time together and we can learn and grow because of them. He encouraged people to “leave a part” of themselves in every meeting.

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“If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”

We have the ability to touch the lives of so many people and Mr. Rogers wanted us to take advantage of that — not for ourselves, but for the benefit of others.

He Placed Civic Duty At The Top Of Everyone’s List

Mr. Rogers wanted us to realize that civic duty shouldn’t be taken for granted. Everyone needs help from time-to-time and he attempted to fuel that idea with an amazing quote.

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“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say “It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.” Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”

As we see time and time again, Fred Rogers was an incredibly giving man!

It’s Not The End. Ever.

Life, work, school, there are a lot of endings that we face on a regular basis. Mr. Rogers never looked at anything as finite. Instead, he believed one ending was the opportunity for something new.

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“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.” This was an important concept for Mr. Rogers who often spent his episodes helping children deal with such topics as death and divorce.

His View On Peace Went Beyond Ending War

“Peace means far more than the opposite of war.” Mr. Rogers realized that peace could only be achieved if we actively engaged with other people, understood their point of views, and worked together to change the world. He tackled tough subjects in a positive way that allowed his viewers to see the world in new ways.

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He also believed we need to work on what can be DONE right now and not just focus on what COULD be. Our current world climate could certainly use Mr. Rogers’ sound logic.

On Why Solitude Can Be An Amazing Thing

Have you ever noticed that Mr. Rogers started every one of his TV shows by speaking directly to the camera and his young viewers? His soothing voice and ability to slow everything down was an important part of his philosophy.

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“Solitude is different from loneliness, and it doesn’t have to be a lonely kind of thing,” he explained. Mr. Rogers realized early on that even children need a moment to calm down, unlike children’s shows today that are non-stop action-packed spectacles. Quiet introspection can be a very grounding experience and is something we can all benefit from occasionally.

Mr. Rogers Took A Unique Approach To His Devotion To God

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Fred Rogers was a deeply religious man but his views were not along the lines of mainstream America at the time. He openly spoke about how he believed everyone was a reflection of God. For that reason, he refused to condemn homosexuality, even at a time when it was par for the course.

Despite his deep religious convictions, he didn’t use those beliefs to influence his audience, focusing instead on the best in people with the hopes they would find their own way in a respectable manner. He truly was a one of a kind person and an amazing role model for the children he shared his TV home with nearly every day.

He Single-Handedly Stood Up To Congress

As TV show producers and major studios fought against the ability to record shows on VHS, it was Mr. Rogers who stood up for the average American.Fred Rogers appeared in front of Congress to explain to America why recording TV shows should be considered fair use and important for the average American family.

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Rogers argued that recording TV shows allowed entire families to sit down together, watch their favorite shows, and generate a dialog.His amazing testimony is hailed as one of the main reasons Congress decided not to move forward in a battle against VHS providers.

He Was Really Good Friends With Koko The Gorilla

Many fans of Mr. Rogers are sure to remember the time Koko the gorilla appeared on his TV show. What you might not realize is that the loving man and his gorilla buddy actually developed a lifelong friendship!

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Caretakers for the world famous gorilla revealed to the world that Koko loved to watch episodes of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. Mr. Rogers even considered the animal to be one of his children. When Fred Rogers passed away in 2003, Koko and her team bid a final farewell to a man they considered to be family.

No, He Didn’t Flip Off The Camera In A Viral Meme

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If you have seen this picture floating around the internet you should probably know the real story. Mr. Rogers was not flipping off a cameraman. Instead, he was singing a song about numbers with a group of children.

Being the man he is, Rogers probably never thought about the middle finger being used for the wrong reasons. It’s pretty obvious in the clip that he is surrounded by children and singing some type of song. Come to think of it, we can’t think of a single incident in which Fred Rogers didn’t act with the utmost decency available to all of us.

Play Is The Best Way To Learn

Mr. Rogers understood that children learn through play. While many people at the time claimed that playing was “relief” from learning, he took a much different approach.

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“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”Fred Rogers used to play throughout his TV show to teach children about opening up their mind to new things. He played games, sang, and interacted with his audience in fun and inventive ways.

He Was A Devoted Family Man Even When Recording His Show

While Fred Rogers didn’t spend a lot of time talking directly about his own family, he did pay homage to them throughout this PBS children’s show. The character Mr. McFeely was actually named after a relative.

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In fact, many of the characters that appeared throughout the years were named after Mr. Rogers’ family members. It was his own way of showing his love and respect to his own family. How cool is it to have the real world name “McFeely.” Rogers truly was a remarkable man who practiced exactly what he preached on his TV show.

He Argued With His Wife In The Nicest Possible Way

In 1981, an audio recording of Mr. Rogers arguing with his wife surfaced. Even in his personal life, Mr. Rogers chose to take the high ground and remind the people he loved the most about how much they matter to him and how much he cares.

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He told his wife, “Sometimes, when we disagree, I feel frustrated. But I never forget how lucky I am to have you in my family. Always remember how special you are.” So now you know what it’s like to get into an argument with Fred Rogers. Wow.

He Truly Believed That We Give Up On People Too Quickly

Mister Rogers had a philosophy that we should all abide by. He believed that we give up on people too quickly without really thinking about that person and who they are.

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“How sad it is that we give up on people who are just like us.” It’s a great reminder that sometimes you need to step back from a situation, think about the other person, and then come to an understanding about how they feel and who they truly are. These are definitely words to live by for everyone.

He Weighed Exactly 143 Pounds For 30 Years And The Reason Is Beautiful

As one of the most beloved characters on TV, Mr. Rogers spent hours out of every day personally responding to fan mail and attending gatherings. Even with everything going on in his life he managed to maintain an exact weight of 143 pounds every day for 30 years. Writer Tom Junod later explain that Mr. Rogers grew up as a chubby child and decided to watch his weight.

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Rogers explains to Junod that he found comfort in the number 143 because “the number 143 means ‘I love you.’ It takes one letter to say ‘I’ and four letters to say ‘love’ and three letters to say ‘you.’ One hundred and forty-three.”

He Saved Public Television

Not only did Mr. Rogers save VHS recording technology, he also single-handedly saved public broadcast television. Sitting in front of a bunch of hardened politicians he explained exactly why children needed to be given hope in order to become better citizens.

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After his testimony ended members of Congress sat down to discuss the deep cuts they were planning for PBS. Instead of cutting the networks $9 million they increased spending to $22 million. New TV shows would eventually be produced and inspire millions of additional children because of Fred Rogers’ brave and incredibly civil confrontation with members of the U.S. Congress.

He Was Incredibly Hard To Interview For The Most Adorable Reason

Mister Rogers was incredibly hard to interview. No this wasn’t his one diva vice. In fact, it was exactly the opposite. When sitting down with reporters he would genuinely become interested in who they were as a person.

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Eventually, the conversation would turn to the reporters family and then a picture-taking session would occur. Mr. Rogers would then create a photo album of their time together and deliver it to their home. As the months and years went on he would continually reach out to the report he befriended to check in and hear about their families.

He Had The Ability To Make New York Subway Passengers Break Into Song

Mr. Rogers was on a trip to New York when he attempted to hail a taxicab. When no cars were available he hopped on the subway to reach his destination.

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The beloved TV personality thought he would go unnoticed but there was very little chance of that happening. When passengers on the subway spotted him, they all burst out into song, singing the theme to Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. He responded to the on the spot adoration with a big smile, probably because he realized his teachings were in the hearts and minds of the people who grew up watching his TV show.