I know to our American readers this will be a shock to you, but yes there are plenty of people out there who do not know who Mr Rogers was. But yes for many of us growing up in the UK we have little to no idea who he was, so to help out I thought I would give you all the crash course I had.
Fred Rogers (March 20, 1928 – February 27, 2003) was an American television personality. He is known as the driving force behind the preschool television series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (1968–2001). Rogers came to prominence because he was able to make a genuine connection with his audience, possibly because he knew then what so many fail to understand now, that kids are smart and they are special and they need someone to take a real interest in them.
It is hard to understand his reach but the awards and accolades he recieved over the years do help. Rogers received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, 40 honorary degrees and a Peabody Award. He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame and was recognized in two congressional resolutions. He was ranked number 35 of the TV Guide’s Fifty Greatest TV Stars of All Time. Several buildings and artworks in Pennsylvania are dedicated to his memory, and the Smithsonian Institution displays one of his trademark sweaters as a “Treasure of American History”. On June 25, 2016, the Fred Rogers Historical Marker was placed near Latrobe in his memory
Of course I am talking about Mr Rogers because we got the very emotional trailer for Tom Hanks next project – A beautiful Day In The Neighborhood. Which follows an award-winning cynical journalist, Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys), who begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write an Esquire profile piece on the Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks). This is of course based on the now infamous article by Tom Junod, which actually caused the writer to reevaluate his life.
One of the best examples of his show is this clip of him talking to a kid about break dancing. It is just heart warming to watch him interact and actually listen to this kid. There really is a lot we can still learn from this man…
But if you are not willing to watch any of those previous videos then I challenge you to watch the next video, it is a real emotional roller coaster and I think it will make you an easy convert to this mans philosophies and his way of life.
I am hoping you watched it and I am hoping that it changed you and made you want to be that little bit better.
To end this one I feel like I should finsih it just how Fred Rogers would end each program by telling his viewers, “You’ve made this day a special day, by just your being you. There’s no person in the whole world like you; and I like you just the way you are.