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Holabird Advocate

Providing all the news we see fit to print since 2002!

Thursday, February 27, 2003
VOL. II Issue 2O
It's not such "A beautiful day in the Neighborhood" as Fred McFeely Rogers, who became a nurturing television friend to millions of children as host of the public television program "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," died of stomach cancer at his home in Pittsburgh on Thursday morning.
An ordained Presbyterian minister who believed television should be used to enhance the human spirit, began his career in children's television doing puppet voices for a local show on PBS affiliate WQED in Pittsburgh, became a national personality in 1968 when "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" became available to PBS stations across the country. Each episode opened with the gentle Mr. Rogers entering a comfortable living room, singing "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood" and donning a cardigan sweater and pair of comfortable shoes. One of the red sweaters is now at the Smithsonian Institution.
The show was quickly embraced by both children and parents for an imaginative but simple approach that came with his own songs and puppet voices, and the ongoing message: "There's only one person in the whole world like you."
It became the longest running children's program on public television. He taped his last program in December 2000. The final episode aired in August 2001, but earlier program continues to run on PBS.
Rogers also tackled important subjects for children, including death, when he noticed that one of his fish on the set had died in the aquarium.
During the Gulf crisis a decade ago, he made a public service announcement that told parents: "Children aren't responsible for wars. The least, and the best, we adults can do is to let our children know that we'll take good care of them, no matter what." He also came out of retirement to help people of all ages deal with the reality of the terrist attacks on September 11.
Born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, he studied early child development at the University of Pittsburgh and received a charge to continue his work with families and children through television when he was ordained a minister.
Rogers is survived by his wife, Joanne, their two sons and their two grandsons.
After waiting patiently for Kelvin and Donna Kennedy to get there stuff together and go to Las Vegas and Arizona with them, Harold and Mary Hinkle have given up and decided to strike out on their own for Arizona on the morning of March 7th. Some here at the Holabird Advocate have started a betting pool as to whether or not they will in fact go. On the bright side, they won't have to listen to Celine Dion.

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