Fifty-one years ago today, Fred Rogers stepped in front of the cameras at WQED in Pittsburgh and cut his first episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. In February 1968, the much-loved show would get a national audience on PBS, a move that would go on to inspire, nurture and bring joy to millions of young Americans (and their folks).
After all these years, Mister Rogers’ legacy is very much alive and, today, Google remembers his fine work with a special Google Doodle, an initiative of Fred Rogers Productions, The Fred Rogers Center, and BixPix Entertainment.
Set to the opening theme of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (“Won’t You Be My Neighbor”), the stop-motion animated new Doodle rolls back the years.
“I’m so thrilled that Google is celebrating Fred and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood with this charming tribute,” comments Rogers’ wife, Joanne, in a statement. “This stroll through the Neighborhood is delightful, and Fred’s gentle kindness is beautifully captured in the Doodle.”
The kind-hearted educator won the Peabody Award, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002 and was the recipient of no less than two legislative resolves for his groundbreaking work in children’s programming. Sadly, he passed away after a battle with stomach cancer, on Feb. 27, 2003, but his memory lives on.
Watch the Doodle below.