It’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood to celebrate the 87th birthday of late TV legend Fred Rogers, who hosted the long-running children’s show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
For a staggering 31 seasons, we watched Mr. Rogers sweetly sing his way into his living room, change into his signature cardigan and casual sneakers, and invite us into that day’s adventure. Over the course of his career, Rogers received some of the highest awards possible, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a Peabody Award, and induction into the Television Hall of Fame. He died in 2003 of stomach cancer at the age of 74.
There was a level of great comfort in the fact that the show’s formula barely changed: From the first episode in 1968 to the last in 2001, Mr. Rogers gently walked viewers through life lessons, conversations with special guests, and, of course, the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.
In 1997, Mr. Rogers received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 24th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards and his touching speech where he asked everyone in the crowd to observe 10 seconds of silence for the people who shaped their lives encapsulates a level of gratitude we all should strive for:
Watch full episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood here.