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It's Such a Good Feeling
The Maundy Monday Newsletter - This Week in History February 13-19.
Howdy neighbors! It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, and thank you for supporting Okay History.
When I was a kid growing up, and I wanted to skip school, or heaven forbid, I was actually sick; I had limited options regarding how I would entertain myself. I didn’t have cable until I was 11, and I didn’t get a gaming machine until I was 13.
So from ages 5 to 10, when I was home from school, I could read a book or watch Mr. Rogers.
Mr. Rogers always won.
Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood made its broadcast debut on February 19, 1968. The half-hour children’s educational show was broadcasted on the Public Broadcasting System until 2001.
What a fantastic run.
Hosted by Fred Rogers, the best person to have ever lived, he broke the fourth wall of television to speak directly to all of us about complex topics, like dealing with conflicts or when our parents get divorced. He talked to us about our pets, siblings, and friendships. Rogers took us on field trips to recycling centers, zoos, and art museums.
He taught us to love and respect each other, those who knew well, and those we had just met. He took us to the place of make-believe, where we felt safe to explore situations and interactions and take a journey of discovery. It’s remarkable that I didn’t just drop out of school and watch this stuff daily.
Rogers was a thoughtful man with a gentle voice who is an American icon. He loved us just the way we were. God bless him.
Do you have a favorite Mr. Rogers memory?
Okay, let's highlight what else happened this week. Here's what I got:
Michael Lawrence Dake was born on February 14, 1943. The youngest child of two sons, Dake would go on to father the greatest living mediocre history lesson guy, his youngest of five children. Michael L. passed away from a heart attack in 2015.
USS Maine sank in the Havana Harbor on February 15, 1898. Named after the #37 ranked state, Maine protected US interests during Cuba’s war of independence from Spain. Somebody suggested Spain sank it, which led to shouts of Remember the Maine! Down with Spain! With that, we went to war because we could rhyme.
911 emergency phone system came online on February 16, 1968. In 1953 Congress decided the country needed a uniform system to handle emergency calls. Fifteen years later, the FCC and AT&T announced the 911 system, and the first call took place in Alabama, and it was not an emergency. What an emergency to get this emergency platform in place to take nonemergency calls to make sure it works. 80% of 911 calls are made on mobile devices, which seems low.
It’s going to be a busy month for me. But I have a few projects in the cooker that will begin to roll out next week on the anniversary of OKH.
Until then, in the words of Mr. Rogers:
It’s such a good feeling,
A very good feeling,
That I’ll be back
When the day is new
And I’ll have more ideas for you
And you’ll have things you want to talk about
I will too.
I hope you have a great week. See you on Friday, neighbors.