Fifty-one years ago today, Fred Rogers filmed the first episode of the hit children’s television show, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” which would go on to capture a national audience on PBS after its February 1968 premiere.
To celebrate the beloved hit, Google’s doodle team created a video in honor of the Pennsylvania native sure to bring smiles to millions.
In Friday’s stop-motion animated Google Doodle, created in collaboration with Fred Rogers Productions, the Fred Rogers Center and BixPix Entertainment, a sweater-clad Rogers sings his now-famous theme jingle, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor.”
Music was actually his first love, Google noted in a blog about the video. “He felt children deserved better and headed for New York, serving as an apprentice and floor manager for the music shows at NBC.”
When he returned to Pittsburgh, Rogers studied both ministry and child development and brought his culmination of talents to the set. The show ran from Feb. 19, 1968 to Aug. 21, 2001.
In 1999, Rogers was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. Before that, he had earned four Daytime Emmys and a Lifetime Achievement Award. One year after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he died of stomach cancer.
“The Doodle aims to be a reminder of the nurturing, caring, and whimsy that made the show feel like a ‘television visit’ between Mister Rogers and his young viewers,” Google wrote. “Everyone was welcome in this Neighborhood.”
You can watch the full Google tribute video below:
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