Neighborly folk took to social media Friday to pay tribute to Fred Rogers, a public media icon whose testimony nearly 47 years ago saved a budding educational network.
Using the hashtag #ItsABeautifulDay, people posted photos of themselves wearing sweaters, a nod to the “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” host’s trademark garment. The PBS NewsHour’s own co-anchor Judy Woodruff joined in the fun.
— Judy Woodruff (@JudyWoodruff) April 29, 2016
On May 1, 1969, Rogers gave a calm, heartfelt testimony in defense of public television before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications. President Richard Nixon had proposed cutting the $20 million budget of the then-newly formed Corporation for Public Broadcasting by 50 percent.
The corporation had created the Public Broadcasting Service, which would be longtime home of landmark children’s shows like Rogers’ 30-minute program and “Sesame Street.”
“We deal with such things as the inner drama of childhood,” Rogers told subcommittee Chairman John O. Pastore. “We don’t have to bop somebody over the head to make drama on the screen. We deal with such things as getting a haircut or the feelings about brothers and sisters, and the kind of anger that rises in simple family situations.”
Video by YouTube user BotJunkie
“I give an expression of care each day to each child,” Rogers added.
Pastore said Rogers’ statement gave him “goosebumps.” “Looks like you just earned the $20 million,” he added.
— Detroit Public TV (@detroitpublictv) April 29, 2016
— KCPT (PBS) (@KCPT) April 29, 2016
— Earl Blumenauer (@repblumenauer) April 29, 2016
— Phil Meyer (@philmeyer) April 29, 2016
Share photos of you wearing your own Mister Rogers sweater. Post them on Facebook or Twitter, using the hashtag #ItsABeautifulDay.