Won’t You Be My Neighbor Day
Won’t You Be My Neighbor Day is a holiday that’s observed annually on March 20th and honors the legendary children’s television presenter known as Fred Rogers. He was the star and presenter of a television show called Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, a show that reached millions of children during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.
Mr. Rogers showed preschoolers that respect, love, and a good attitude can really take a person far and are just as important as any other aspect of education. It’s for this reason, and many others, that this holiday is celebrated all across the United States by the now-adult children of those who enjoyed his show.
The History of Won’t You Be My Neighbor Day
Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood has its origins in a newly formed public TV station called WQED in 1953. On April 5th of 1954, this station debuted The Children’s Corner, which was a program that featured Fred Rogers as a puppeteer and composer along with Josie Carey.
During this program, many different characters that would later become famous in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood were developed. These included Daniel Tiger, King Friday XIII, and X the Owl.
In 1961, Fred Rogers moved to Toronto, Canada, and worked on a new series called Misterogers. This was a 15-minute program on CBC Television. This show lasted about four years and featured a few of the set pieces that would eventually be used on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood in the U.S. These set pieces included the castle and the trolley.
Fred Rogers acquired the rights to his program from CBC and moved it to WQED in Pittsburgh in 1966. The show was renamed from Misterogers to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and 100 shows were produced. However, the show was briefly canceled in 1967. Public outcry prompted new funding to be secured.
The new funding was provided for the show in 1967, and that enabled it to be seen all across the U.S. on National Educational Television. It was broadcast from February 1968 through February 1976, and then again from 1979 to 2001.
And the rest, as they say, is history. As far as the history of this holiday, it grew out of another holiday called Sweater Day. That day was created by Family Communications of Pittsburgh as a way to honor Fred Rogers and what he managed to accomplish with his show. Won’t You Be My Neighbor Day is observed on Fred Rogers’ birthday, just like Sweater Day.
Observing Won’t You Be My Neighbor Day
This day can be observed simply by taking some time to appreciate Fred Rogers and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. It’s also a good day for people to introduce their children to this show. And people can spread Fred Rogers’ love by using the hashtag #WontYouBeMyNeighborDay on social media.