11. Mr. Rogers provided voices for a lot of the puppet characters.
He was the voice of King Friday XIII, Queen Sara Saturday, X the Owl, Henrietta Pussycat, Daniel Tiger, Lady Elaine Fairchilde, and Larry Horse.
12. He insisted on not adopting an on-camera persona.
With Mr. Rogers, what you see is what you get.
He once said, “One of the greatest gifts you can give anybody is the gift of your honest self. I also believe that kids can spot a phony a mile away.”
13. He basically saved public television.
Back in 1969, the government wanted to drastically cut Public Television funds. Mr. Rogers — who at the time was relatively unknown — went to Washington to testify before a Senate subcommittee. You can watch his testimony in the video above. Do it. You won’t regret it.
The grumpy politician in charge of the questioning was so struck by Mr. Rogers’ testimony that the funding for Public Television jumped from $9 million to $22 million.
14. He was a vegetarian.
“I don’t want to eat anything that has a mother,” he often said.
He also once said that “It’s hard to eat something you’ve seen walking around.”
15. He once appeared on an episode of Candid Camera.
But it didn’t quite go according to plan.
The prank show had removed the TV from the hotel room he was planning on staying in for a PBS conference. However, Mr. Rogers didn’t seem to mind the lack of a television set. “That’s perfectly all right,” he said to the bellhop. “I sometimes watch the news but that’s all and I wasn’t going to watch that tonight… I could live happily without a television set forever probably, so for tonight it’s no problem at all.”
Speaking of furniture, Mr. Rogers had a fascinating way of decorating his office…