‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ debuted 52 years ago

Just try not to smile

‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ debuted 52 years ago
The very first episode of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” aired on Feb. 19, 1968. (Source: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File Photo)

(KDKA/CNN) - Fred Rogers walked into our lives for the first time 52 years ago today.

The very first episode of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” aired on Feb. 19, 1968. The show had its network debut on National Educational Television, a forerunner of PBS.

For the next 31 years and 912 episodes, Mr. Rogers removed his jacket and dress shoes, slipped on a sweater and sneakers and talked about tying shoelaces.

He gave lessons on kindness, friendship and respect to generations of kids.

It’s a message he believed and spread until the end of his life on Feb. 27, 2003.

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