Speaker: That's wonderful. I think it's wonderful... (sigh) I think you just earned twenty million dollars.
His defense of PBS was in response to proposed budget cuts. The outcome after his speech? Budget increase. Yes, that's right... Fred Rogers persuaded the United States Congress to spend more money on educational programming that brought in close to zero corporate profit. No matter what party's in charge, that is impressive.
The US Senate was debating cutting a $10 million grant to PBS. Fred Rogers came before them and spent six minutes describing his TV show. The United States Senate doubled the grant.
He also defended home recording and was later recognized as one of the most prominent witnesses. That's right, people! Recording TV shows would've been made illegal if Mister Rogers hadn't intervened and set the greedy straight!
Also, almost all PBS Kids apps with licensed characters on the Apple App Store are not available outside the US and UK. Of the two that are available internationally, one of them is a Mr. Rogers App. That man is a saint!
Through a bizarre twist of fate, Mister Rogers was the inspiration for Night of the Living Dead. A young George Romero was behind the camera when Mister Rogers got a tonsillectomy, and the experience was so squicky that it got him interested in horror.
The story doesn't end there! When the movie was finished, Romero showed Rogers an advanced screening of the movie. What did the most gentle man who ever lived think of this bloody horror film? He thought it was FUN!
When he went up to accept his lifetime achievement Emmy, he asked the entire crowd: "...ten seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are. Ten seconds of silence." And they complied.
The write up from Esquire said it best:
"And Mister Rogers finally looked up from his watch and said softly "May God be with you," to all his vanquished children"