Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood was on TV through so many of our childhoods and its loveable host Mr. Rogers has become a cultural icon. Between his soothing voice, encouraging messages, and awesome sweaters, Mr. Rogers earned a special place in all of our hearts and memories. So to celebrate his birthday, we learned more about the man that taught us so much. Here are 5 pretty cool things you didn't know about Mr. Rogers and his iconic TV show, from behind the scenes secrets to how he picked his clothes.
1. Fred McFeely Rogers was born in Latrobe, PA in 1928
He graduated from Rollins College with a degree in musical composition, then later went to Pittsburgh Theological Seminary to earn a divinity degree. When the NBC station he was eventually working on needed a children's program to air, Rogers created one himself called, "The Children's Corner", which turned into the show we all know and love. He was known to be as sweet in person as he was on the show and loved to swim for exercise, which he would sometimes do in the buff at sports clubs that allowed it, yowza!
2. Mama Rogers made all of his iconic sweaters
Mr. Rogers' mom would knit the sweaters he wore on his show and whenever he'd put one on, it was his way of saying hello to her from the set. Aww! He even talked about her and her sweaters on one of his shows and showed a picture of her to give a shout out.
3. Rogers wore sneakers to cut down on noise when walking behind set
When it came to operating puppets behind the sets of a live TV show, running around backstage in noisy shoes could be a little distracting. So Rogers decided that wearing sneakers would help him get around without being noticed. What he didn't count on was them becoming an iconic part of his daily show wardrobe.
4. Mr. Rogers voiced almost all of the puppets on his show
Multi-talented, Mr. Rogers not only created the puppets on his show but he also voiced them. You can hear him behind King Friday XIII, Quean Sara Saturday, X the Owl, Henrietta Pussycat, Daniel Striped Tiger, Elaine Fairchild, and Larry Horse. Many of the puppets had names of people Mr. Rogers knew in real life.
5. Mr. Rogers' Spin-off Show
Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, a kid's show currently on PBS is a spin-off of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood based off of Rogers' "Neighborhood of Make Believe". The main character of the kid's show is Daniel Tiger, the son of a Tiger who is a ringer for one of Rogers' puppets, Daniel Striped Tiger. Daniel even takes off his shoes and puts on a sweater like Mr. Rogers in every show!
Remember, "You've made this day a special day by just your being yourself."
What's your favorite Mr. Roger's Neighborhood memory or moment? Join the conversation on our Facebook page, @TheListShowTV.