Wednesday, March 19, 2008

In honor of Mr. Rogers Day (Sweater Day), Here's 15 Fun Mr. Rogers Facts


In honor of National Sweater Day (Mr. Rogers Day!), and the fifth anniversary of his death, here are fifteen fun facts about PBS' Mr. Rogers (thanks to member Videodemon for pulling this together):



  1. Mister Rogers was colorblind (red-green)

  2. There has been a rumor floating around for years that Mr. Rogers was (either) a Navy Seal, or a Marine sniper, with dozens of confirmed kills. These rumors are certainly amusing, but totally false

  3. While a child, he spent most of his free time with his grandfather, who was a huge influence on him

  4. Mr. Rogers first began to wear his sneakers because he found them quieter than his other work shoes when he was moving around the set during production.

  5. Mr. Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian minister in 1962. He was charged with continuing his work with TV and children.

  6. He first worked with NBC, but then decided that commercial television's reliance on advertisement and merchandising undermined its ability to benefit kids, so he quit.

  7. The sweaters Mr. Roger wore on the show were hand knitted by his mother.

  8. Mr. Rogers drove a used Chevy Impala. Towards the end of his career, his car was stolen from the studio parking lot. Word spread, and outrage swept the town. 48 hours later, the car was back in the spot where he had left it along with a note, “If we’d known it was yours, we never would have taken it!”

  9. You can have a VCR thanks to Mr. Rogers. In contrast to most people in his industry, Mr. Rogers fought on BEHALF of VCR manufacturers in court-- arguing that he didn't object to families recording his show for later viewing at a more convenient time. The United States Supreme Court considered his testimony in its decision that the Betamax recorded did not infringe copyright (see below for a great quote from his testimony). The Home Recording Rights Coalition later stated that Rogers was "one of the most prominent witnesses on this issue."

  10. When Mr. Rogers was at a speaking engagement, he would instruct the audience to remain silent for 60 seconds-- and to use that time of silence to remember those who helped them become who they are

  11. Mr. Roger’s parents adopted an African American teenager named George. Rogers came to consider George his older brother, and George later became an instructor for the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II-- and also taught Rogers how to fly.

  12. Mr. Rogers was awarded 40 honorary degrees

  13. Mr. Rogers show has the distinction of being the longest running program on PBS; it ran for 998 episodes

  14. He was a vegetarian, swam every morning, and never smoke nor drank

  15. There is a $3 million dollar statue to Mr. Rogers being unveiled on Mr. Rogers Day "Sweater Day" on March, 20th, 2008 in Pittsburgh (he was from Latrobe, Pennsylvania).

  16. (Bonus) Mr. Rogers could Moonwalk & Breakdance(not kidding!):



Here's Mr. Rogers' rather profound quote when testifying about private recording of shows:


"Some public stations, as well as commercial stations, program the "Neighborhood" at hours when some children cannot use it ... I have always felt that with the advent of all of this new technology that allows people to tape the "Neighborhood" off-the-air, and I'm speaking for the "Neighborhood" because that's what I produce, that they then become much more active in the programming of their family's television life. Very frankly, I am opposed to people being programmed by others. My whole approach in broadcasting has always been "You are an important person just the way you are. You can make healthy decisions." Maybe I'm going on too long, but I just feel that anything that allows a person to be more active in the control of his or her life, in a healthy way, is important"
RIP Mr. Rogers






Visit the "I loved Mr. Roger's" group at Experience Project to learn more and remember this kind soul.

Credits:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Rogers

http://www.law.cornell.edu/copyright/cases/464_US_417.htm#464us417n27

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0736872/

5 comments:

Jacquelyn: Because I Said So! said...

HI! Great facts about Mr. Rogers—I'm going to put a link on my post today, at Mom blog: Because I Said So! on Canadian Living magazine's site. And The Experience Project is excellent, BTW.

Jacquelyn: Because I Said So! said...

HI! Great facts about Mr. Rogers—I'm going to put a link on my post today, at Mom blog: Because I Said So! on Canadian Living magazine's site. And The Experience Project is excellent, BTW.

Jacquelyn: Because I Said So! said...

I forgot to leave the link to my post, if you'd like it. Mr. Rogers birthday is also the birthday of our bunnies, Flopsy and Lizzie. And they unfortunately will not be wearing sweaters today. http://www.canadianliving.com/blogs/2008-03-20/mom-blog-because-i-said-so-mr-rogers-day-and-bunny-birthdays/

ranch said...

Sesame street is still running, and has far more than 998 episodes.

Sarah said...

Great post! I was lucky enough to meet Mr. Rogers twice, and like most Pittsburghers, I cherish his memory.