What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, February 21, 2018:
When the history of public broadcasting is written, one of the icons will be Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood — the children’s TV show that premiered on February 19, 1968 — 50 years ago this week.
Wednesday’s Smart Talk is a special one as we make a Road Trip to the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh. We discuss 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 Wednesday’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.
The fourth floor Special Collections Gallery in the Heinz History Center displays the largest collection of original items from the “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” television set on public view.