Daily Archives: April 8, 2010

Mister Rogers

Who didn’t like Mr. Rogers?

Even though he probably never mentioned the phrase personal development on any of his shows, I think Fred Rogers could be the reason so many children developed as they did.  What a great influence he was on children.

Some of us knew Mr. Rogers only through our children’s eyes.  He seemed to be just a wonderful, calming influence for children who viewed the show.

After a little research about Fred Rogers, it’s apparent that we lost a real gem when he passed away in 2003 at the age of 74.  His show started as a local show in the Pittsburgh market.  It was a 1/2 hour long and ran daily until 1968, when it started nationally on public television.  Unlike most children’s shows at that time, Mr. Rogers’ show used hand made puppets and a cardboard castle.  He remained calm, low-key and predictable in that style for all the years he did the show.

In the beginning his concept was revolutionary.  Every episode you would see Mr. Rogers come home, take off the sport coat and loafers, put on the cardigan and sneakers, while singing “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood…”. Being schooled and degreed as a Protestant minister, he was a student of behavior.  For his show, he consulted with various professionals and authorities about child development.

Fred Rogers was the producer, host and chief puppeteer.  He wrote scripts and songs and supplied wisdom.  He and his show ventured to deal head-on with the emotional issues children deal with on a daily basis.  He would talk to the children about difficult subjects to help them understand and cope with real life issues–war, death, poverty, divorce and disabilities.

There were 895 episodes of Mister Rogers taped.  You can see more information about Fred Rogers at the PBS Kids’ Website