With all the love going to Sesame Street last week, time to remember Mr. Roger’s Neighborhhood, in production from 1968 to 2001. It always started with his theme song, Won’t you be my neighbor, and included a trip to the “Neighborhood of Make-Believe”, with the miniature trolley that had its own chiming theme song. The theme was simple, but essential: The Reverend was teaching children to love themselves and others.
No wimp, that Mr. Rogers: In 1969, he appeared before the United States Senate Subcommittee on Communications to ask for funding for PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, in response to budget cuts proposed by President Nixon. Former President Johnson had proposed a grant of 20 million dollars, and Nixon wanted to cut that in half. As one of the commentators has written, “Within a mere 6 minutes, Rogers made a cynical, hand-nosed man into a supporter of public broadcasting.” 20 million bucks. An epic win.
Here is the intro song: