Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood officially made its United States network debut on February 19, 1968 on NET (National Educational Television) which eventually became PBS, where it aired until August 31, 2001. In those years Fred Rogers and his little show from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania had a profound and touching effect on the lives of hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of children and adults — and although Rogers passed away in 2003 at 74 years old, his legacy still lives on and touches the lives of people to this day.
Following the horrific tragedy in Manchester on Monday night, the world needs Mr. Rogers more than ever; always the comforting presence in difficult and painful times. It was this tragedy that led author Anthony Breznican to recall his own personal chance encounter with Rogers, back when he was a college student at the University of Pittsburgh. Breznican posted a string of tweets, recalling the kind and gentle man so many of us remember today — whether or not we were fortunate enough to meet him in person — who took time out of his day to lend an ear and some kind words to a stranger in need.