'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood’ debuted 52 years ago

(KDKA/CNN) - Fred Rogers walked into our lives for the first time 52 years ago today.

The very first episode of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” aired on Feb. 19, 1968. (Source: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File Photo)

The very first episode of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” aired on Feb. 19, 1968. The show had its network debut on National Educational Television, a forerunner of PBS.

For the next 31 years and 912 episodes, Mr. Rogers removed his jacket and dress shoes, slipped on a sweater and sneakers and talked about tying shoelaces.

He gave lessons on kindness, friendship and respect to generations of kids.

It’s a message he believed and spread until the end of his life on Feb. 27, 2003.

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