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15 Surprising Facts About Mr. Rogers And His Neighborhood

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USA Today

Hello neighbor!

I grew up watching Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, and odds are you did too.

The famous children's show presenter first invited the world to his neighborhood back in 1966, and his series is still playing in reruns to this day.

In fact, a new documentary is set to examine the life and work of "our neighbor."

That means now is the perfect time to remember Fred Rogers with some little-known facts about him.

1. He started from the bottom

Mr. Rogers.
Rogers on 'The Children's Corner' in the 1960s.Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Rogers studied music, then worked as a production assistant for NBC.

He later admitted that the advertising and merchandising for the network's children's shows made him uncomfortable.

So he left his job and became a puppeteer for a small station in Pittsburgh.

2. He stretched out his words for a reason

Someone told Rogers that there was a limit to how much his young viewers could adsorb.

Supposedly, 124 words a minute was the "correct pace," so the TV host made sure to speak slowly and clearly.

3. His first show wasn't about his neighborhood

Before Rogers became Mr. Rogers, he was just a puppeteer and voice actor for The Children's Corner.

His first leading role came after he moved to Canada, and starred in an early version of the show called Misterogers Neighborhood.

4. He wore sneakers for a practical reason

Mr. Rogers sneakers.

Rogers was a bit of a perfectionist, and every detail of his show had to be just right.

That included shoes that didn't make any noise as he walked across the set. That's why he wore those stylish sneakers.

5. He tackled scary subjects

Mr. Rogers would address some pretty scary things on his show.

There were episodes about divorce and natural disasters, but also things that were only scary to children.

That included getting a haircut, and "falling down the bathtub drain."

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