This Was Television On August 31

2001: Mr. Rogers hangs up his cardigan

A public television mainstay, Fred Rogers welcomed neighbors young and old into Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood for over 30 years. Mr. Rogers entertained and educated multiple generations of children with his avuncular style, signature music and lessons, and the help of the puppet citizens of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. After the final original episode aired on this day, the series has remained in steady rerun rotation throughout the country.

Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood maintained a tried and true formula nearly unbroken for its three decades on the air, except for a brief bump in the mid-80s when beloved monarch King Friday left the show for an ill-fated action movie career.  -A.D.

Today’s Birthdays: Dee Bradley Baker, sky bison (50); Julie Brown, valley girl VJ (58); James Coburn, Western lawman (d. 2002); Lowell Ganz, sitcom scribe (64); Arthur Godfrey, Renaissance host (d. 1983); Buddy Hackett, funnyman (d. 2003); Mona Marshall, anime and animation voicer (65).

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