#TBT: Fred Rogers Speaks Before Congress

"There's no person in the whole world like you, and I like you, just the way you are." Without Mr. Rogers, public broadcasting might not have survived. This heartfelt plea from the legendary TV personality in 1969 helped secure funding for PBS — and gave a senator goosebumps. #TBT

‘One of the most powerful pieces of video presentation ever filmed’

Fred McFeely Rogers was an American television personality, musician, puppeteer, writer, producer, and Presbyterian minister. He was the creator, showrunner and host of the preschool television series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, which ran from 1968 to 2001.

In 1969, Rogers testified before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Communications, which was chaired by Democratic Senator John Pastore of Rhode Island. President Lyndon Johnson had proposed a $20 million bill for the creation of PBS before he left office, but his successor, Richard Nixon, wanted to cut the funding to $10 million. Even though Rogers was not yet nationally known, he was chosen to testify because of his ability to make persuasive arguments and to connect emotionally with his audience. The clip of Rogers' testimony, which was televised and has since been viewed by millions of people on the internet, helped to secure funding for PBS for many years afterwards. According to King, Rogers' testimony was "considered one of the most powerful pieces of testimony ever offered before Congress, and one of the most powerful pieces of video presentation ever filmed". It brought Pastore to tears and also according to King, has been studied by public relations experts and academics. Congressional funding for PBS increased from $9 million to $22 million. In 1970, Nixon appointed Rogers as chair of the White House Conference on Children and Youth.

According to Wikipedia Rogers died of stomach cancer on February 27, 2003 at the age of 74. His work in children's television has been widely lauded, and he received over 40 honorary degrees and several awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002 and a Lifetime Achievement Emmy in 1997. He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1999. Rogers influenced many writers and producers of children's television shows, and his broadcasts have served as a source of comfort during tragic events, even after his death.


12/05/2019 2:57 PM
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  • Dave S.
    a day

    , since you were talking about him the other day.

  • Lisa P.
    a day

    He was the kindest, sweetest man on tv growing up! Loved watching him. May he RIP always. 🙏🏻🙏🏻

  • Kadija A.
    a day


  • Sherry B.
    a day

    Wow..and needs to be heard even more so today to all ages

  • Carl M.
    2 days

    I didn't really like the show as a kid... I'm not sure why, maybe I just had weird tastes. I do, however, have a mountain of respect for the man as an adult. He strikes me as a sincere person who knew exactly what he was talking about.

  • Joe A.
    2 days

    God's gift to us was Mr Rogers, never in my life will someone like him come again He been generational in my family first with my daughter's, and now with my granddaughter

  • Jerry W.
    2 days

    Now this is why although same kids need a safe space

  • Kollette K.
    2 days

    A man so far ahead of his time ❤️

  • Bizket K.
    2 days

    That's messed up.... I see what's being said.

  • Josh T.
    2 days

    Great man watches his show when I was a youngster

  • Maria L.
    2 days

    What an Incredibly Gentle Kind & Wise Man💖🙏🥰

  • Ryan M.
    2 days

    OK Mr. Rogers rate here in this video reminds me of Sheldon Cooper

  • Leila G.
    2 days

    Great respect for Mr. ROGERS always.

  • George E.
    2 days

    God bless Mr Rogers, we need more like him for our children, and adults every day!

  • Nelson L.
    3 days

    Mr Rogers was to me a father figure because I grew up without a dad and it’s ok today , I grew up with morals, respect , and most of all compassion, and I can’t forget my mom she gave me whatever she could and even though we were poor it didn’t feel like it , thank you Mr. Rogers”for all the wonderful 13 ‘

  • Sami K.
    3 days

    Loved that show

  • Maria A.
    3 days

    Thank you Mr Rogers❤️

  • Danny N.
    3 days

    What a great man and thank you for your dedication to the human race as a public servant....

  • Tj L.
    4 days

    Its It's nice to see everyone not divided on this he was a great man

  • Elaine K.
    4 days

    I grew up watching Mister Rogers Neighborhood. Fred was a kind and humble man, who is greatly missed