“If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”

Fred Rogers
Born March 20, 1928

Fred Rogers, the creator and host of the educational program for pre-schoolers, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, was born on this date, March 20, in 1928. (He passed away at age 74 in 2003.) Initially educated to be a minister, Rogers was displeased with the way television addressed children and made an effort to change this when he began to write for and perform on local Pittsburgh-area shows dedicated to youth. Pittsburgh’s public television station WQED developed his show in 1968. Soon, it was distributed nationwide to educational TV stations. Over the course of three decades he hosted the show, Fred Rogers became an icon of American children’s entertainment and education. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, 40 honorary degrees, and a Peabody Award. He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, was recognized by two Congressional resolutions, and was ranked No. 35 among TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time. Several buildings and artworks in Pennsylvania are dedicated to his memory, and the Smithsonian Institution displays one of his trademark sweaters as a “Treasure of American History”.