Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #83

March 20, 2008, which would have been Mr. Rogers' 80th birthday, is being promoted as "National Sweater Day" in his honor. As a tribute, everyone should wear their best sweater next Thursday. If you have a sweater or two that you don't want or need any more, be sure to donate it.

13 Beautiful Things about Fred McFeely Rogers:

1. Mr. Rogers studied music composition in college and wrote all the music on the show.

2. In 1963, Fred was ordained a Presbyterian minister.

3. In 1969, Mr. Rogers testified in front of the Senate to help save funding for Public Television. He said that shows like his are an alternative to less positive messages on network television and encourage children to be come happy and productive citizens. By 1971, PBS funding was increased from $9 million to $22 million.

4. Mr. Rogers also testified in front of Congress, defending the use of VCRs to videotape shows. He said that by by taping shows, working parents could watch the shows with their kids at a more convenient time.

5. Koko the Gorilla was a fan of Mr. Rogers. When she met him, she gave him a big hug, and helped him take off his shoes.

6. When his car was stolen, it made news all over town. Within two days, it was returned to the exact spot it was stolen with a note reading, “If we’d known it was yours, we never would have taken it.”

7. He was color blind--he couldn't see blue. So basically, he didn't know what he looked like with the blue sweater on.

8. All the sweaters on the show were hand-knit by his mother.

9. A red cardigan sweater belonging to Rogers hangs in the Smithsonian.

10. MISTER ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD is the longest- running program on public television. It started in 1967 and the last original episode aired in 2001.

11. In 1998, Mr. Rogers met the Dalai Lama. I can't think of two kinder men. Think of the karma in that room!

12. In 2002, President George W. Bush presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, recognizing his "contribution to the well-being of children and a career in public television that demonstrates the importance of kindness, compassion and learning."

13. Mr. Rogers died in his Pittsburgh home on Thursday, February 27, 2003 after a brief battle with stomach cancer. He was 74.


Anonymous said...

His mother knitted all his sweaters! I got a shiver reading this and remember the show well because my sons watched it.

Sparky Duck said...

Why am I not surprised Mr Rogers was a minister. Its the soothing voice

Jodi said...

I loved Mr. Rogers. I didn't know him mom knitted all his sweaters. Great list.

Janet said...

Loved #6 and #11. I never saw his show, but of course have heard of him :-)

Anonymous said...

I'm going to bring an extra pair of shoes and another sweater so I can switch them half way through the day... hehe

The Gal Herself said...

Shame on me! When I was a teen and my younger sister was still a little kid, I made fun of Mr. Rogers. Now that I'm older, I realize what a gentle influence he was. Thanks for celebrating him. (Thanks for visiting my TT)

Brenda said...

It's a Beautiful day in the Neighborhood...he was awesome. Don't see much wholesome shows on anymore. Thanks for reminding us about a wonderful man who had great influence on young and old!
Have a 'beautiwood' day!

pussreboots said...

I never really got into his show but I appreciate that he was a nice person. Happy TT.

carrotpreacher said...

Hello, great blog, I noticed you had Underworld listed as one of your music favorites which leads me to believe that you like electronica which also leads me to think we have similar musical tastes. If you do, please read my latest post (in fact, read the last few to understand what my blog is about). I'm trying to get this music thing going grassroots style.