PITTSBURGH, Penn. — The studio where Fred Rogers launched his career as a televised friend to children everywhere now bears his name, WQED's Fred Rogers Studio in Pittsburgh.
On Friday, that studio also became the site where the U.S. Postal Service unveiled their new Forever stamp, emblazoned with the image of Mister Rogers.
Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan led the dedication ceremony. "Mister Rogers and his Neighborhood of Make-Believe made the ups and downs of life easier to understand for the youngest members of our society," said Brennan.
Fred Rogers' show premiered across the country in 1968—50 years ago this year. It ran until 2001, just two years before Rogers' death in 2003.
The stamp features a photograph by Walt Seng, depicting Rogers in a signature red cardigan, next to puppet familiar King Friday XIII of the "Neighborhood of Make-Believe."
Rogers began each show by welcoming the audience to his "home," and singing the song "Won't You Be My Neighbor," which he composed himself—along with hundreds of other songs.
Rogers would put on his accustomed cardigan, change into sneakers, then introduce his topic for the day. Often his topics involved the serious emotions and situations of life as a child growing up—as simple as sharing or friendship, or as serious as anger, fear, divorce or death. He addressed them with consummate gentleness and acceptance.
"In Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, children learned, in a safe space, how to be a friend and create relationships. He shaped generations with his kindness and compassion. It's why we honor him today," said Brennan.