"Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" was among the most famous, longest-lasting and fondly-remembered children's television shows. Host Fred Rogers (known to millions as simply "Mister Rogers") used his gentle charm and mannerisms to communicate with his audience of children. Topics centered on nearly every inconceivable matter of concern to children, ranging from everyday fears related to going to sleep, getting immunizations and disappointment about not getting one's way to losing a loved one to death and physical handicaps. Rogers used simple songs and, on nearly every show, segments from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe to make his point. A scale-model trolley was often (but not always) used to segue into the Make-Believe segments, said neighborhood being inhabited by puppet characters including King Friday XIII, Lady Elaine Fairchild and Daniel Striped Tiger. Frequent visitors as well as Rogers' own frequent visits to various places in the neighborhood rounded out each show. The program... Written by
Brian Rathjen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Right before the opening credits for the 1979-2001 episodes, a blue screen appeared and a male voiceover announced the sponsors. "The people who gave the money to make Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, are the people of...". In the 1967-1975 episodes, there was no blue screen credits at the beginning or end. Instead, the sponsors were announced over the end credits. See more »
Mr. Rogers was and is a huge positive influence in the lives of small children. His passing away leaves a huge emptiness in the hearts of those who grew up watching him.
In what is all to often a violent and unsure world, Mr. Rogers was the voice of stability and kindness that children could rely on. He always stressed the importance of learning, responsibility, and caring for yourself and others. His kind and gentle demeanor and slow, pronounced way of speaking were absolutely perfect for small kids, making them feel as if they were in the presence of another parent. In fact, Mr. Rogers WAS a kind of third parent to many children, particularly for many during the late 1970s and 1980s, when former at-home mothers were increasingly working outside the home and had less time for them.
Mr. Rogers' greatest legacy was his continuous reminder that he "likes you just the way you are" or "thinks you're great just for being you". This is such an important message for small children who are still forming their ideas about who they are and how they fit into a society that is very often not as kind (and too often, horribly cruel). Individuality and imagination were celebrated gifts.
To this day, I don't have the slightest idea how Fred Rogers came to know children so well, where he got this gift to communicate with them and speak to them on their level. I do know that he is a national treasure who will never be forgotten by millions of people. Mr. Rogers was the ultimate combination of a teacher and a best friend, and is utterly irreplaceable.
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