It’s a beautiful day in our neighborhood! Since Latrobe Pennsylvania is the birthplace of children’s television icon Fred Rogers, visitors can be sure to see plenty of displays and other materials related to our favorite neighbor at Adams Memorial Library throughout the year.
Fred McFeely Rogers was born here in Latrobe on March 20, 1928. He attended Latrobe High School from 1942 to 1946, all the while participating in such clubs as National Honor Society, Quill and Scroll, and the debate team. Rogers was also on student council, and was only one year ahead of another famous Latrobean, golfer Arnold Palmer.
Rogers left Latrobe and went on to Rollins College to earn a degree in music in 1951. While home for a visit, he got to see television for the first time. While he did not enjoy it, he realized that it was here to stay, but could be used to reach children and educate them. Rogers then created Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, which ran from 1968 to 2001. There, he taught children simple, yet essential lessons to take throughout life. He always emphasized that we should be kind to each other, no matter what race, religion, or sex–we were all equals as human beings.
While he received many honors and awards, such as the Peabody Award for his work on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, a Hollywood Walk of Fame star, and the Presidential Medal for Freedom, he was a humble man who fought for quality children’s education.
Sadly, Mister Rogers passed away in 2003 at the age of 74, leaving behind a long and enduring legacy of kindness and thoughtfulness.
Here at Adams Memorial Library, in honor of our beloved neighbor, we have copies of the Latrobean yearbooks that feature Fred Rogers in our Special Collections, as well as displays of various memorabilia from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. We also have several original puppets of Mister Rogers which are currently on loan to the Latrobe Historical Society.
Rogers’ sister Nancy Crozier was a recipient of the Harold A. Stewart Amicus Libri Award for her work with education from Adams Memorial Library.
If you’re looking for information on Fred Rogers, you can visit the Fred Rogers Center at St. Vincent College, which is just outside of Latrobe. Furthermore, you can travel the Fred Rogers Trail, which consists of a three-day-trip, featuring numerous museums, Idlewild & Soak Zone, and a natural wonder.