A few more details shared on Facebook:
Lots of folks wishing happy 45th Anniversaries today to the WQED premiere of "Mister Rogers Neighborhood." Looks like a Wikipedia error that's still online in some places. The actual WQED premiere date was: 11/21/66. The PBS premiere was: 2/19/68. Regardless, thanks for the love & kind wishes!So there it is. The guys who mentioned this on the radio this morning? All of the people wishing Mister Rogers Neighborhood a happy anniversary/birthday today? All mistaken.
Not everything on the internet is true.
You may have heard that today marks the 45th anniversary of the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood premiere. I've seen this pop up today on a few news sources and websites myself.
A few people have contacted me today with questions about this milestone considering the Neighborhood Archive marks the premiere of Episode 0001 as February 1968. Forty-five years would put the premiere in 1967.
So let me clarify things a bit today -- on what might be the 45th anniversary of the Neighborhood.
It's well known that Fred Rogers worked with Josie Carey on the Children's Corner in the 1950s for WQED Pittsburgh -- although he did not visibly appear on camera. In the early 1960s, he packed up and moved north where he hosted Misterogers on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
Fred returned to Pittsburgh in 1966 and brought this program to WQED under the name Misterogers' Neighborhood. This half-hour program was broadcast regionally by the Eastern Educational Network (EEN). With increased funding, the program was able to reach a national audience starting early in 1968 on National Educational Television (NET) -- beginning with what the Neighborhood Archive refers to as Episode 0001.
So then...did Mister Rogers' Neighborhood actually debut 45 years ago today?
Maybe the EEN broadcasts began in May of 1967? I'm not sure.
But on a national level -- the version of the Neighborhood program that most people are familiar with -- that anniversary won't come until next spring.