PBS Airs the Final Episode of ‘Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood’
This day in 2001 marked the broadcast of the last original episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
Hosted by Fred Rogers and produced by Pittsburgh public broadcast station WQED, the popular educational children’s program entertained kids with simple songs and segments on various subjects of interest to children. Each show also included a visit to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, where a community of hand-puppets taught kids important lessons.
Rogers — an ordained Presbyterian minister was particularly known for his ability to connect with children and talk to them about issues such as divorce and war — got into television in the early ’50s mainly because he felt the kid-oriented shows of the day could do a better job incorporating education into entertainment. He began his career working for NBC on shows such as NBC Opera Theater and The Gabby Hayes Show. By the end of his career, he was a television icon.
Mister Rogers debuted in 1968 and ran until 1976. After a three year hiatus, the show went back into production until 2001. Rogers died in 2003.