It’s a beautiful day in this Neighborhood! Today’s #GoogleDoodle celebrates #MisterRogers, who taught children & adults across the US the power of love, kindness, acceptance, & a good sweater. 😊→ https://t.co/dcJS1Vr5tq pic.twitter.com/NMxxe6me45
— Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) September 21, 2018
Google is the de facto homepage of the internet, but their Google Doodles rarely catch my attention. With all due respect to Gerda Taro, Google’s celebration of her 108th birthday last month didn’t make much of an impression on me. Oftentimes it feels like Google goes out of their way to celebrate someone they found by clicking the “Random article” link on Wikipedia. Today’s doodle, though, might be their best yet.
Mister Rogers passed away 15 years ago, but he is currently experiencing a revival in popular culture. Maybe it’s millennial nostalgia, or maybe it’s a just a general longing for kinder, simpler times. Either way, today’s Google Doodle celebrates the 51st anniversary of the taping of the first episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. If you subscribe to Amazon Prime, you can watch that episode right now. Obviously it’s aimed at young children and a bit dry for anyone over the age of six, but it’s fascinating to see that his show was pretty much the same for 30+ years.
In addition to the Google Doodle, the Mister Rogers documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor was released in June and is superb. It’s currently at 99% on Rotten Tomatoes and is a surprisingly entertaining look at a seemingly simple man. Rogers is easily one of the best broadcasters of all time. I highly recommend seeing it. Rogers got his own postage stamp earlier this year, a new biography, The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers was published just this month, and Tom Hanks is set to star as Rogers in You Are My Friend, which is scheduled to be released in 2019.
Mister Rogers may have passed away in 2003, but he and his legacy have not been forgotten. Good work from Google today.