This Week in Pittsburgh History: Mister Rogers Goes to Washington

In six minutes of testimony before a Senate committee, Rogers convinced a skeptical lawmaker not to cut $10 million from the PBS budget.

On May 1, 1969, Fred Rogers testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce Subcommittee on Communications to defend $20 million in federal funding proposed for the newly formed non-profit Corporation for Public Broadcasting. There had been a proposal to cut the funding in half and subcommittee chairman, Senator John Pastore (D-RI), unfamiliar with Mister Rogers, was initially skeptical and abrasive toward him. During six minutes of testimony, Mister Rogers not only won over Pastore, he also preserved full funding for PBS.


Learn more about the city’s past at The Odd, Mysterious & Fascinating History of Pittsburgh Facebook page.

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