Today, Google Doodles is celebrating the groundbreaking children series, Mister Rogers.

To celebrate Mister Rogers, Doodle has created a stop-motion, animated video in collaboration with Fred Rogers Productions, The Fred Rogers Center, and Bixpix Entertainment, which opens with Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’s iconic opening song “Won’t You Be My Neighbor.”

51 years ago on this date, Fred Rogers taped the very first episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Rogers later became known as the nationally beloved and sweater wearing character Mister Rogers.

In February 1968, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood premiered internationally. The series educated and inspired children across the U.S. by exploring topics ranging from everyday fears to losing a loved one to death. 

Before graduating in 1951, Rogers just so happened to be watching some children’s television shows, which he described as being “a lot of nonsense.” He believed that children deserved better shows, so he headed to New York to be a floor manager and apprentice for the music shows at NBC.

After leaving NBC, Rogers returned to Pittsburgh where he applied his child development talents at WQED, where he later produced Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. 

Over the course of his career at WQED, Rogers had been apart of almost 900 programs, serving from creator, host, producer, script writer, composer, lyricist and main puppeteer.

In 2000, the production for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood ended, but many PBS stations continued to broadcast the series for years to come.

Today, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, an animated spin-off of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, continues to educate young viewers on many of the same topics that Rogers did. 

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