Remembering Mister Rogers’ Timeless Gift to Children

Alan Suemori
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

“Ignore all the elements that make good television and you have ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,’” a critic once declared.

Debuting in 1968 in the middle of the Vietnam War, the groundbreaking children’s show featured rudimentary camerawork and an unabashedly sentimental message — all done on a threadbare budget. And yet it worked because it was saying something profound and eternal that the world needed to hear: “Love is at the root of everything. All learning. All parenting. All relationships. Love or the lack of it,” said Fred Rogers. “And what we see and hear on the television screen is part of who we become.”

All set to go to seminary after his undergraduate studies at Rollins College in Florida, Rogers went home for a vacation and instead saw his future in the family living room.

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