Fred Rogers is a beloved entertainer known for his long-running children show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood aired for over thirty years with an original run time from 1968 to 2001 and in every episode, Mr. Rogers would teach kids an important life lesson. So with several generations that watched and loved Mr. Rogers, his legacy still holds up today with people sharing his messages across social media. Now, with a biopic movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, coming out about him and his interaction with reporter Lloyd Vogel, it is a perfect time to learn more about the famous man and his neighborhood. Keep reading to discover five little known facts about Mr. Rogers and his show.
Mr. Rogers Facts #5 – The Stoplight Is Always On Yellow
The opening sequence and song for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood is iconic and instantly brings back memories for people sitting down and watching the show as a family. But one aspect of the opening sequence that you might have missed for all of those years is the fact that the stoplight is always on yellow.
Mr. Rogers wanted the stoplight to be on yellow as a reminder for kids and parents to slow down in their lives, as stated by Mental Floss. Even though you might have not realized it as a kid, but you taking the time to enjoy watching his programing with your family was a great way for everyone to slow down and take moments to enjoy life.
Mr. Rogers Facts #4 – He Changed Shoes For Sound Not Comfort
At the beginning of every episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Mr. Rogers would always take off his dress shoes and change into sneakers. The reason, though, was not because of comfort. According to Rewire, Mr. Rogers discovered that when walking around the stage his dress shoes would make noise when he would try to tape the episodes. So to combat the noisy dress shoes Mr. Rogers decided to change into sneakers to make sure his footsteps were quiet and would not get picked up by the microphones.
Mr. Rogers cared about every aspect of his program and that is why he made the choice himself to ensure that nothing would distract kids from the lesson of the day.
Mr. Rogers Facts #3 – His Mother Made All Of His Sweaters
If you watched Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood growing up then you will know that he loves to wear sweaters. In every episode, Mr. Rogers would be in one of his famous sweaters, and his sweaters would come in every color of the rainbow. His sweaters were such an iconic part of the show that one of them is up for display at the Smithsonian Institution.
When talking to the Archive of American Television, Mr. Rogers mentioned how every sweater that he wore on his show was one that his mother had made for him. Mr. Rogers’ wearing the sweaters his mom made was an amazing tribute to show how much he loved and appreciated his mother. This is one of the lesser known facts about Mr. Rogers.
#2 – KoKo The Gorilla Loved Him Too
It seems that everyone in the world loved Mr. Rogers and his message of peace and understanding delivered through his episodes. And his message was even able to be communicated through different species. In an interview with Esquire, Mr. Rogers talked about his visit with Koko the gorilla. Koko the gorilla was known for mastering over a thousand words in sign language. And Koko was a fan of Mr. Rogers so much that after hugging him Koko proceeded to take off Mr. Rogers’ shoes, just like she had seen him do many times on his T.V. show. That touching moment between Koko and Mr. Rogers was able to show that animals are understanding and loving.
#1 – He Wanted To Weigh Exactly 143 Pounds
Some people are very conscious about their weight. People always seem to be trying to lose or gain weight to live a healthy lifestyle. Mr. Rogers was one of those people that weighed himself every day because he always wanted to weight 143 pounds as reported by Parada. 143 is a very specific number for someone to want to be at, but this was just how Mr. Rogers was.
He knew that there was a very special meaning behind the number 143 since it takes one letter to say “I,” four letters to say “love,” and three letters to say “you.” knowing that Mr. Rogers wanted his weight to be a message does not surprise us since his whole platform was about love and we think that him weighing that amount every day was just another way for him to remember his message.