Singer and educator François Clemmons is probably best remembered by several generations of Americans as Officer Clemmons from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. On their weekly segment on NPR's Morning Edition today, StoryCorps featured an interview with Clemmons about his original reluctance to play the part in the racially-heated days of the late 1960s, his realization of the importance of presenting a black role model to children, and ultimately his life-long friendship with Fred Rogers. [more inside]
Now that we've gotten past the 50th anniversaries of the JFK Assassination and Doctor Who, it's worthwhile to look at some OTHER important things that happened near the end of 1963, like the creation of the first "smiley face", the publication of Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are", and a paper by Kenneth J. Arrow, professor of economics at Stanford University, which "founded the field of health care economics" (coming to a conclusion that well-funded Economists still deny today). From one of the best time-capsule blogs on the web: The '60s At 50. [more inside]
To commemorate the anniversary of his birthday on March 20th, cracked.com's Brendan McGinley has put together a remarkably touching collection of facts about the influence and importance of Mister Fred Rogers. [previously] [more inside]
Won't You Be My Neighbor? Mr. Rogers singing his immortal theme song "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" at different stages of the program's life from 1967 to 2000. So take your coat off, put on your sweater, and sing along.
Why I Love Mr Rogers. Scott Jordan Harris discusses discovering Fred Rogers's show as an adult.
Saturday morning cartoons were once a staple of American television, but by the year 2000 they had all but disappeared. Of course, the Internet never forgets. Case in point: Cartoon Network Video -- a free, searchable, ad-supported service that provides hundreds of full-length episodes of classic shows like Dexter's Laboratory, Cow and Chicken, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Johnny Bravo, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, and The Powerpuff Girls, as well as current offerings and scads of shorter material. Too recent for you? Then give Kids WB Video a whirl -- it does the same thing with the same interface, but for older programs like Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, The Smurfs, Scooby-Doo, Thundercats, and the original Space Ghost. If you're in the mood to learn (and don't mind some live-action), PBS Kids Video has educational fare such as Arthur, Wishbone, and Zoom. And don't forget about Sesame Street, The Electric Company, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, The Magic Schoolbus and Schoolhouse Rock! Now if only we had some Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs...
Can you say Hero? The Life and Times of Mr. Fred Rogers One of the most influential people ever to grace television, Mr. Rogers was a neighbor to millions of children across the US. His legacy has left a long lasting impression on the fabric of society. With today's children being force fed Hanna Montana, and Joey 101, wouldn't it be nice if we could go to the kingdom of make believe, just one more time?
After 40 years of national broadcasts, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood will be removed from PBS' weekday program service this fall. The current situation is that PBS beams the show to member stations as part of its children's programming block Monday through Friday. Most (63%) stations air it. Starting in the fall, PBS stations won't receive the show daily but rather one episode per week will be sent. This summer, PBS stations that still want to play the the show during the week will have an opportunity to receive a season's worth of episodes to stockpile. But receiving and scheduling those episodes requires effort. [more inside]
Fred Rogers wrote two hundred songs during his career. Here are fourteen of them, accompanied by the amazing Johnny Costa.
A Requiem for Mr. Rogers got me thinking about the TV shows that spoke to me as a child. Captain Kangaroo was there and Mr. Dressup was always great. But for me, no one surpassed The Friendly Giant and "Look up. Look way up!" still makes me feel warm and safe. I did not have PBS available as a child but my sons did and for them Mr. Rogers was a favorite as was TVO's Today's Special with Jeff Hyslop's manikin who came to life each night. Who spoke to you via TV as a child? Parents, who is speaking to your children on TV these days?