Bear in mind once you first noticed Mr. Rogers zip up his fire-engine pink sweater towards the top of his opening theme track, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
When his present first aired in February 1968, Rogers had initially donned a button-down sweater. However he switched to zippers the next season as a result of they made it simpler for him to carry out his minute-long routine of fixing from work to informal apparel.
In the course of the opening to nearly the entire present’s 895 episodes, Rogers would arrive “home,” take away his sport coat and pull out a cardigan from his closet. After zipping it up over his shirt and tie — in excellent sync with the road, “Let’s make the most of this beautiful day” — the host would then take away his loafers and lace up a pair of blue canvas sneakers.
An ordained Presbyterian minister, Rogers used his time on public tv to show youngsters about vanity, getting in contact with their emotions, and being a “good neighbor.” His outfit modifications supplied younger viewers with a way of routine, letting them know they may chill out for the course of the present.
Portrait of Fred Rogers Credit score: Fotos Worldwide/Archive Pictures/Getty Photos
It could, due to this fact, come as a shock that the cardigan was doubtless invented for the battlefield. Its creation is commonly credited to the seventh Earl of Cardigan, James Brudenell, who wore an early model of the knitted wool garment to maintain heat throughout 1854’s notorious Cost of the Gentle Brigade, a failed offensive within the Crimean Battle. Regardless of his navy failure, Cardigan returned to a hero’s welcome amongst an unknowing and eagerly receptive public, which helped popularize the jacket amongst Brits and Europeans.
Fred Rogers was the host of the favored long-running public tv youngsters’s present Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Credit score: Deborah Feingold/Corbis Leisure/Corbis by way of Getty Photos
“For as long as I can remember she made at least one sweater every month,” mentioned Rogers, including that she would additionally make one for him each Christmas. “She would say OK, now what kind would you want next year? I know what you want, Freddy, you want the one with the zipper up the front.”
Now displayed on the Smithsonian Nationwide Museum of American Historical past, the sweater was one in all many in Mr. Rogers’ wardrobe, most hand-knitted by his mom, Nancy McFeely Rogers. Credit score: Getty Photos/Getty Photos North America/Getty Photos
They weren’t all pink, although. Founding father of The Neighborhood Archive weblog, Tim Lybarger, documented each coloration of sweater worn by Mr. Rogers from 1971 till the present’s ultimate episode in 2001, noting that he wore cool greens, blues and even gold in his early years earlier than transitioning to hotter tones.
Rogers was no stranger to extra formal appears, both. He wore a darkish blazer to defend public tv at a Senate listening to in 1969, and sported a cream-colored swimsuit throughout an look on “Sesame Street” in 1981.
Tom Hanks stars as Mister Rogers in TriStar Photos’ “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” Credit score: LACEY TERRELL
And that is how a easy sweater, which began life as a warrior’s uniform, advanced right into a trend assertion symbolizing compassion and goodwill.