Mr. Rogers told a famous story about why he wanted to work in television: he never watched much TV, and one day when he did all he saw was people yelling at each other and clowns throwing pies.
He decided to make TV nicer, to create the kinds of programs he would like to watch, and of course the rest is history. Odds are no matter how old you are, you've spent a lot of time watching Mr. Rogers. His show Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood ran from 1966 to 2001, so some people even watched him as a kid, then grew up to raise kids who watched the same show!
However many episodes you've seen, we bet there are some surprising facts on this list that you didn't know. It's a beautiful day to learn something new!
1. He Left A Big Network To Start His Own Show
After studying music in college, Mr. Rogers worked as a production assistant at NBC, helping to make some big shows. He was never comfortable with the advertising and merchandising the network used for their children's shows, so he left to work as a puppeteer for a small station in Pittsburgh instead.
2. He Spoke Slowly For An Important Reason
Someone told Mr. Rogers that 124 words per minute was the "correct pace" to make his words easy for young children to understand, so he made sure to talk slowly for their sake.
3. His First Show Wasn't About His Neighborhood
Mr. Rogers' first job on-screen was doing the voices and puppeteering on a program called The Children's Corner. Later, he moved to Canada and made a show called Misterogers, before moving back to the states for Misterogers Neighborhood (the name didn't split up into 3 words until 1970).
4. He Picked His Famous Shoes For A Reason Too
Mr. Rogers was a perfectionist who wanted every detail to be just right, so he changed into his famous shoes because they didn't make noise when he walked across the set.
5. He Wasn't Afraid To Tackle Scary Subjects
Mr. Rogers philosophy was that if he talked to kids about their fears on his show, he would help them get over them. He wasn't afraid to tackle scary subjects like divorce, but also covered things only kids are afraid of, like getting a haircut, or falling down the bathtub drain.
Click to the next page to learn how Mr. Rogers saved the VCR!