You can watch the dedication ceremony live in March.
Start preparing your correspondence now, because the U.S. Postal Service is releasing a Mister Rogers Forever Stamp this spring.
2018 marks 50 years since the first episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood aired in the U.S., and the new stamp commemorates the show’s creator and star, Fred Rogers, a person who dedicated his life to creating meaningful educational programming for children and who became a hero of public television and a lifelong friend to thousands of viewers in the process.
Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was on the air for 30 years, and each episode began with a song. As Fred Rogers sang “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” he changed from a blazer into a cardigan and swapped his shoes for a more comfortable pair. At the end of each episode and in what Rogers called “a meaningful expression of care each day to each child,” he reminded viewers, “You’ve made this day a special day by just your being you. There’s no person in the whole world like you, and I like you just the way you are.” Rogers passed away in 2003 after decades of service. His legacy—of championing kindness, promoting education, and relating to children with sensitivity and honesty—remains.
You can share this legacy with your own neighbors by affixing these new Forever Stamps to your cards, letters, and correspondence. Each of the stamps depicts Fred Rogers in a signature cardigan alongside King Friday XIII, a puppet that appeared on the show during segments set in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.
The stamp will be released on Friday, March 23 at 11 a.m. ET. On that day, a dedication ceremony will be held at the Fred Rogers Studio at WQED in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which is where Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was filmed. Fans can tune in remotely by visiting the U.S. Postal Service’s Facebook page, where the ceremony will be broadcast live.
To learn more about Fred Rogers and to celebrate his legacy, you can read this 1998 profile, listen to a 2003 message from Mister Rogers to his grownup fans, and watch him defend funding for public television in a Senate Hearing in 1969.
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There are two more celebrations of Fred Rogers on the horizon as well. A documentary called Won’t You Be My Neighbor? premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, and a biopic entitled You Are My Friend is in the works from Tristar Pictures. Tom Hanks (Castaway, The Post) is set to star as Rogers, and Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl) will direct.