Smart Talk Friday: Focus on Mr. Rogers for “143 Day”

Encore presentation from 2018 Smart Talk Trip commemorating 50th anniversary of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood

  • Scott LaMar

Friday is 143 Day in Pennsylvania. Inspired by Pennsylvania native Fred Rogers, Pennsylvanians are encouraged to share acts of kindness and good deeds for each other on 143 Day.

Mr. Rogers used 143 as a special code based on the number of letters to say I Love You.

To commemorate 143 Day, we’ll hear a special encore Smart Talk from Mr. Rogers hometown of Pittsburgh, focusing on his life and accomplishments.

The program was broadcast from the Senator John Heinz History Center. We discussed Fred Rogers’ legacy with several people who knew and worked with him, the history of the TV show and describe an exhibit at the History Center that includes Mr. Rogers’ living room and the Great Oak Tree, where Henrietta Pussycat and X the Owl lived.

Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood was a different kind of TV show for children and it was made that way by Fred Rogers. Fred Rogers was a soft-spoken and gentle man who didn’t speak down to children. While kids were entertained, they also were learning valuable life lessons from Mr. Rogers.

Appearing on Friday’s program are: Deborah Acklin, President & CEO WQED Multimedia; Paul Siefkin-President, Fred Rogers Company; Margaret Whitmer – Director of Video Production and Special Events, Fred Rogers Company & served as producer on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood; Emily Ruby, Curator, Heinz History Center; Dr. Mariruth Leftwich, director of education, Heinz History Center; and David Newell Mr. McFeely himself.

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