Thursday, March 20, 2008

Won't You Wear a Sweater??

I don't know about the rest of you, but I grew up watching Mr. Rogers. He is the iconic educator, minister, songwriter, and television host that many have grown to love. He hosted the widely popular show Mister Rogers' Neighborhood from 1968-2001, making it the longest running program on PBS. Mr. Rogers is most remembered for his sneakers and his sweater. Which by the way, all his sweaters were hand knitted by his mother...

Not only did Mr. Rogers have his daily half-hour television show, but he also did many other things to promote education. He pushed for the use of VHS tapes instead of Beta because VCRs can record things off the television onto a VHS tape. "Why," you might say did he care...because he wanted parents and children to be able to tape his show along with other educational programs so they could sit down as a family and learn together. (My media ethics and law teacher actually told this to the class last week.)

Mr. Rogers also fought for funding to the Corporation of Public Broadcasting when Nixon wanted to cut it in half. While growing up and watching PBS, before each show an announcer would say"...... is brought to you by ........ and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and by contributions to your PBS station from viewers like you, thank you." It wasn't until recently that I really began to understand what all of that meant until recently, but I've realized that without that funding I would have missed out on a lot of educational shows, such as Wishbone. I was one of the few students in freshman English in high school who understood The Odyssey and I owe it all to Wishbone and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting!

Ok, so I'm getting a little off topic. I found this video some had posted on facebook that shows Mr. Rogers presenting his case to the U.S. Senate.

I'm saying all of that to say this. Mr. Rogers is one cool guy and today, March 20, 2008, would be his eightieth birthday. So in honor of him, the people behind Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood are asking everyone to wear a sweater today. So I don't know what the weather is like in your neighborhood today, but if you appreciate Mr. Rogers and all the things he did over the years for education and public television then please wear a sweater today for him.

"You've made this day a special day by just your being you." ~Mr. Rogers


Courtney said...

I didn't care for Mr. Roger's show, but Wishbone was the bomb. You're right about understanding classics better due to watching Wishbone. That's interesting about what Mr. Rogers did for tv. I just told Chris about it.

cindy said...

How sweet! I always liked Mr. Rogers. And Wishbone! LOL. Nothing like being 30 and watching Wishbone! LOL.

Great post.


PS and thanks for the sweet compliment! : )

Heidi said...

The crazy thing - apparently Mr. Rogers is really a timeless show...Ryan (3yrs old) likes to watch the reruns.

Walk in the Woods said...

Thank you.

I'm a day late in reading this, but I was wearing a sweater-of-sorts yesterday. A zippered affair. Even so, it feels good to know that it was not only keeping me warm, but also the spirit of Mr. Rogers. :)