Mr. Rogers and The Inner Drama of Childhood

Published June 5, 2009 by Graham


It’s rare to find an individual with as much passion and dedication to helping people as Fred Rogers was. It’s even rarer to find an individual like that, who fights with his whole heart for everything good in this world, to courageously go up against the powerful interests of cynicism and maliciousness, and bring them to their knees in the span of a six-minute speech. But in 1969, Rogers did just that.

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood had been on the air for less than two years when PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting became a target of massive budget cuts proposed by Richard Nixon, who hoped to funnel that money into the Vietnam War. Two days into a dismal Senate subcommittee hearing that would determine the fate of PBS, Fred Rogers took the floor and addressed the chilly and impatient subcommittee chairman, John O. Pastore, with the goal of underscoring the importance of educational, emotionally positive programming for children. What happens next is straight out of a Frank Capra film. Take a look, and have the tissues ready:

  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • MySpace
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • TwitThis
  • E-mail this story to a friend!

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

14 comments so far

  1. Milkovich says:

    That should be turned into a movie and Edward Norton should be cast as Mister Rogers.

  2. H.H. says:

    Not to keep the fantasy casting going, but in that first photo, he looks a lot like Jason Schwartzman.

  3. Luke says:

    Oh god, I’m a grown man reduced to tears just now. What a great great person he is.

  4. Ross says:

    What a beautiful and good soul. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  5. Sameer Vasta says:

    A wonderful reminder of why this man has been and continues to be one of the most inspirational people in my life. Thanks for sharing.

  6. james wilkinson says:

    amazing, childhood is the best part of your life….

  7. [...] defending PBS to prevent Nixon from cutting their budget in order to fund the Vietnam War. Via We Love You So This entry was written by Richard, posted on June 7, 2009 at 4:06 pm, filed under Interesting [...]

  8. aumantm says:

    His message is still incredibly appropriate to today’s television programming. Just flip through children’s animations today and look at the incredible amounts of unnecessary violence. We don’t need violence to engage in communication or to entertain.

    I also love his term of the “inner drama of childhood”.

  9. [...] massive budget cuts proposed by President Nixon in order to continue funding the Vietnam War. via We Love You So Posted by Erik 8 June 2009 Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Mister Rogers, PBS, videos [...]

  10. james says:

    hadnt seen Mr Rogers in years till a month or so ago, watched an episode w our 4 y/o… who loved it. genuine caring, and as the “what do you do” song was saying expressions of feelings and control etc. yeah, goosebumps…

  11. Jurgen says:

    One of the greatest things that ever happened to me was when I was walking next to the WQED building in Pittsburgh and walked past Fred Rogers sneaking out the back door. I said hi to him and he simply returned a hello. I grew up watching him everyday as a child, and 20 years later, he was just as awesome.

  12. [...] of Mister Rogers… I was reminded of how good the first act of this episode of This American Life is. Davy [...]

  13. rey says:

    simply amazing – I’m so glad that this little clip and bit of history has documented.

  14. tessar says:

    a lot of who i am is owed to watching mr. rogers after school. i heard this clip on a podcast a few months ago, but seeing him talk makes all the more difference. we need more of his kind of material today.