Mr. Rogers started every episode by changing out of his suit jacket and into a hand-made knit sweater. The sweaters were made by his mother, Nancy. Rogers' red knit sweater is proudly displayed by the Smithsonian Museum.
Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood was a children's educational show. Fred Rogers, the writer, and star of the show thought viewers about feelings and relationships. He covered though topics such as death, divorce, and violence.
"Fred Rogers has proven that television can soothe the soul and nurture the spirit." said President Bush. Just months before Rogers' death, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Rogers loved the numbers 143 to represent "I love you". He even maintained the body weight of 143 pounds. He often used the phrase "Exactly as you are", or "EAYA", to encourage children and adults alike to accept themselves and others just the way they are.
Although "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" had been off air at the time of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Fred Rogers recorded 4 special messages for a grieving country. Many of his young viewers were now parents themselves he said, "although it may be difficult, it's important to have open conversations with children in order to help them feel safe."
Mr. Rogers woke every morning at 5am, studied scriptures and prayed for two hours then swam one mile nude - all before work.
Fred Rogers didn't watch television
"Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood" is an animated show based on Mr. Rogers' tiger puppet and Rogers' main principles.
Mr. Rogers responded to ALL of his fan mail. Between 50-100 letters a day!
Rogers had a strong dislike for other programming that had "pie throwing" content. He employed long pauses and a meaningful tempo instead of loud sound effects and stimulating distractions.
"There are three ways to ultimate success: The first was is to be kind. The second is to be kind. The third way is to be kind." -Fred Rogers
Mr. Rogers was an ordinated Presbyterian Minister. He viewed his show as his ministry.
In 1969 Funding for Public Television was on the chopping block and "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" would be cancelled. Fred appeared before the senate for 6 minuted and the National budget for Public broadcasting was not cancelled - but it was doubled.