Fred Rogers was born in 1928 and passed away in 2003 from stomach cancer - far too young! He was beloved by all children because of his gentle and soft-spoken personality. Did you know that he was a Presbyterian minister as well as being responsible for creating, hosting, and composing the theme music for this educational children's series? I know that whenever I sat down with the girls to watch, I was mesmerized by his voice and the way he spoke to the characters as though they were real life people.
Did you know that when Fred Rogers worked for NBC in the early 1950s, he didn't like the fact that commercial television relied so heavily on advertisements and merchandising? What did he do? He quit and went to work at a Pittsburgh public television station as a puppeteer on a children's show. Rogers began wearing his famous sneakers when he found them to be quieter than his work shoes as he moved about behind the set.
"In 1963, Rogers moved to Toronto, where he was contracted by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to develop his debut in front of the camera, the 15-minute children's program Misterogers, which though popular with children ran for just three seasons. Many of his famous set pieces—Trolley, Eiffel Tower, the 'tree', and 'castle'—were created by CBC designers. While in Canada, Rogers brought his friend and understudy Ernie Coombs, who would go on to create Mr. Dressup, a very successful and long-running children's show in Canada, and similar in many ways to Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Mr. Dressup also used some of the songs that would be featured on Rogers' later program. The two of them co-starred on Butternut Square on CBC TV between October 19, 1964, and February 10, 1967.
In 1966, Rogers acquired the rights to his program from the CBC and moved the show to WQED in Pittsburgh, where he had worked on The Children's Corner. He developed the new show for the Eastern Educational Network. Stations that carried the program were limited but did include educational stations in Boston, Washington, D.C., and New York City."
Here is the famous "Neighborhood Trolley".
Have a wonderful week, everyone. I must say I'm so glad to have you all as my ABCW neighbours!