Furthermore, you cannot be a Navy SEAL if you fail the color blindness test, and Rogers was red-green colorblind. Paul Morse/George W. Bush Presidential Library/Wikimedia CommonsReceiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from George W. Bush in 2002. He wished for a world where no child would have to experience this abuse by war. The only connection that has been found between Mr. Rogers and the military is when he registered for the draft in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 13, 1948, when he was 20 years old. He ate a vegetarian diet for ethical reasons. Dear Mike: You know, my first clue about this was the memorable episode where the Captain made Mister Moose get a buzzsaw haircut. No one who knew Rogers in real life has confirmed any military involvement on his part, and Rogers was a pacifist through and through. Maybe that's why rumors about Mister Rogers' skullduggerous, clandestine lifestyle have been so prevalent over the years. Posted 3/26/08 Related eRumors: Mr. Rogers Was a Sniper In Vietnam – Fiction! Archives.govThe front page of Fred Rogers’ draft card. Before we get into the man’s mythology, here are the true, verified facts of Mr. Rogers’ life. Alas, Mr. Rogers never had a military career. However, at the end of the day, Fred Rogers was nothing more than a Puritan-esque character who followed his passion for education and creating a peaceful society where children are taught to be good-hearted, morally conscious people. But on Oct. 12, 1950, in his final year of college, Rogers reported to the Armed Forces for his physical and his status changed to “4F,” meaning he wasn’t qualified for military service. As per the policies of the Texas Military Department, West retained the same rank of which he earned in Federal military service, lieutenant colonel. Him having a very macho backstory or being a ruthless killer is kind of titillating; it runs counter to what you’re presented as true in your day-to-day experience.”. At 91, Joanne Rogers tends to the legacy of her late husband, known to generations as Mister Rogers. Let the record show that not one single solitary human person has ever accused Rogers of anything more serious than wearing somewhat unattractive shoes. “To raise a generation which is not abused (by war or any other means) should be our goal,” he wrote to a friend. Then, learn about John Basilone, an actual badass marine of World War II. You know, this would answer so many questions as to why Fred Rogers, host of the legendary Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, was the quiet, personable man we saw on television every day; deep down inside he was a skilled Marine sniper and he needed the calm persona to hide his honed killing skills. Here, Mr. Rogers realized his dream of educating children and caring for their mental health. The documentary, directed by Academy Award-winner Morgan Neville, offers an intimate look at the Emmy-winning star of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. For many years, he was eligible for military service, since he was classified as a “1A.”. Fred Rogers was born in the small town of Latrobe, Pennsylvania on March 20, 1928. The Truth: Fred Rogers, the founder and host of the popular U.S. children’s television program Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood never served in the military. But Mr. Rogers was a U.S. Navy Seal, combat-proven in Vietnam with over twenty-five confirmed kills to his name. This is a man who really did dedicate his life to educating and helping children. Mr. Rogers was a Sniper? However, this same military timeline and its correlation to Mr. Rogers’ life also proves that he wasn’t a military sniper either, as the U.S. did not send ground troops into Vietnam until 1995, making Rogers too old to enlist as a sniper. But why did these rumors begin in the first place and accumulate such a strong public backing? In March, 2008, somebody combined the stories of Captain Kangaroo, Lee Marvin, and another about the popular children’s television personality Mr. Rogers into a single email—saying that all three of them were war heroes. Mr. Rogers used his TV program as a platform for sharing with the world his countercultural beliefs about nonviolence. This urban legend has been around since at least 2002, and while it contains some elements of truth, the gist of it—that Marvin and Keeshan … UrbanLegendsOnline comments about Lee Marvin and Mr. Rogers. Beginning in the 1990s, an urban legend started up that Mr. Rogers (formally known as Fred McFeely Rogers) was a tattooed military sharpshooter. Rogers' fictional tattoos almost always make an appearance. Going back to trademark sweaters, this assumption is usually based on the myth that Rogers is using his full coverage sweaters to conceal his tattooed sleeves, which were said to hold a tattoo for each of his supposed sniper kills. Mister Rogers … military sniper? Fred Rogers always wore long-sleeved shirts and sweaters on his show to conceal the tattoos on his arms he obtained while serving in the military. Mr. Rogers never served in the military. James Rogers was born in 1959 and John Rogers was born in 1961. And then there was the time he pounded those medals into Mr. Green Jeans’ chest, and made Magic Drawing Board police the Treasure House until it was so clean you could eat off the floor. But even without confirmation from the military, the facts of the Mr. Rogers myth don’t add up. It is unknown why Rogers didn’t pass as these medical records have since been destroyed. Mr. Rogers never served in the military,” the Navy SEALs wrote. Fred Rogers never served in the military, … He started at NBC in New York City, and then moved back to Pennsylvania, then to Canada, and finally to Pittsburgh with the rights to his very own children’s show that would become the famed Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. The front page of Fred Rogers’ draft card. The stories below were shared with us and because these figures are well loved and part of American TV history, as well as our treasured childhood memories, we are quick to believe them. “Mr. But is it? Making the most of a beautiful day with Mrs. Rogers. Did you hear the one about how he flipped the double bird to kids on the show? These tumors swirled even before internet memes or conspiracy-theory YouTube channels. “As you can see so clearly the abused grow up to be the abusers — sometimes on a worldwide scale.”. High school yearbook photo of Fred Rogers. These tumors swirled even before internet memes or conspiracy-theory YouTube channels. Captain Kangaroo ( Bob Keeshan ) was in the United States Marine Corps Reserve during the Second World War, but never saw any combat... Bob Keeshan And Mr Rogers Military Service - Image Results Often, positive public figures are distorted in order to create more intrigue. According to urban legend, before Mr. Rogers was a TV host, he was as a sniper (or perhaps a Navy SEAL) during the Vietnam War, with a large number of confirmed kills. For many years, he was eligible for military service, since he was classified as a “1A.” However, during his final year of college, Rogers reported to the Armed Forces in order to complete his physical and his status was changed to “4F,” meaning that he was no longer qualified for military service. These trademark sweaters, one for each of his 900 episodes, were handknitted by his mother and were a crucial part of the persona Rogers spent his life creating. Contrary to urban legend and rumors spread around the internet, Mr. Rogers was never a Navy SEAL nor a sniper in the military, nor was the reason he wore sweaters because he had tattoos all over his arms and body, one for each person he killed. Prior to claims of his Navy involvement, it was also speculated that Rogers was an ex-sniper. In addition, military involvement for Fred Rogers doesn’t have a place where it fits into the timeline of his life. After partially dying down in the late ‘90s, rumors began to resurge following Mr. Rogers’ death in 2003, but this time, they suggested that he was an ex-military SEAL rather than a sniper. It seems just crazy enough to be true. Mr. Rogers never served in the military and was a pacifist. As far as war is concerned, Mr. Rogers likened it to a form of child abuse. Erin Kelly is a freelance writer, artist, and video editor that splits her time between the humid Midwest and the dusty corners of her mind. Wikimedia CommonsHigh school yearbook photo of Fred Rogers. According to urban legend, before Mr. Rogers was a TV host, he was as a sniper (or perhaps a Navy SEAL) during the Vietnam War, with a large number of confirmed kills. With this hobby, as well as his degree in music composition from Florida’s Rollins College, Rogers was destined to entertain. Those periods of isolation helped foster his young imagination; he created puppets for company. As with his older brother, Robert, he was named in honor of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, who was his first cousin, four times removed. Fred Rogers, American television host, producer, and writer best known for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (1968–2001), an educational children’s show that aired on public television. Summary of eRumor: Children’s television personality Fed Rogers was a Navy Seal and a sniper in Vietnam with 25 confirmed kills to his credit. He hid that away and won our hearts with his quiet wit and charm.”. Also according to legend, he also has a tattoo for every confirmed kill — which is why he always wore long sleeves. Stories like this reflect more on us as a society than they do the man at the center of them. The Truth About Those Rumors Of Mr. Rogers’ Badass Military Career. The only connection that has been found between Mr. Rogers and the military is when he registered for the draft in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 13, 1948, when he was 20 years old. Television skyrocketed in popularity just as he was coming of age (I Love Lucy premiered in 1951, the same year he graduated from college), and he found his calling in transforming the medium into something educational and worthwhile. The rumors grew so much in popularity that Navy officials issued a statement as to why these rumors were false and just an urban legend after all. “Urban legends sometimes distort the positive to create a sense of intrigue,” says Trevor J. Blank, assistant professor of communication at the State University of New York at Potsdam. For more than 30 years, Rogers was a daily presence in the homes of millions of Americans through his groundbreaking work on PBS. There were whispers on buses between children and in lines at supermarkets. Rogers indeed registered for the draftin Greensburg, Pe… Fred Rogers was born in 1928 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Along the way, he attended seminary school part-time and became an ordained Presbyterian minister. The legends of his Call of Duty-worthy military service have been circulating for over a decade, sometimes bringing Captain Kangaroo into the mix in sort of a children's television Expendables mash up. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood ran on public television for 31 seasons. Post-military career (2004–2007) After retiring from the Army, West and his family moved to Florida.He taught U.S. history and coached track and field at Deerfield Beach High School for a year. To assume that Rogers could remain on public television for 33 years with an abhorrent criminal record such as that — without one outraged parent — is absurd. He was an upstanding citizen and made the decision never to smoke or drink, and chose to follow a vegetarian diet due to ethical reasons. Fred Rogers was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush on July 9, 2002, for his service to the nation and dedication to the education of children. Mr Rogers (Fred McFeeley Rogers) never served in the military. “I don’t want to eat anything that has a mother,” he often said. Rogers, by all accounts, seems like a very mild-mannered, Puritan-esque character…. He opposed the Vietnam War, and the very first week Mister Roger’s Neighborhood went national in 1968, it included a puppet storyline about war resistance. Rogers, who was a Presbyterian minister, was known worldwide for his gentle and calm demeanor and his way with children. Rogers indeed registered for the draft in Greensburg, Pennsylvania on Sept. 13, 1948, when he was 20 years old. YouTubePictured with young girl in the 1960s. Rogers, born March 20, 1928 in Latrobe, Pa., eschewed an Ivy League education to graduate magna cum laude from Florida’s Rollins College with a degree in music. As a child, he was sickly — “I had every imaginable childhood disease, even scarlet fever,” he said. He wore a long sleeve sweater … From the above mentioned reasons, it is clear that Mr. Rogers could never have served in the military. Another rumor says that Mister Rogers always wore long-sleeved clothes only to conceal the tattoos on his arms he obtained while serving in the military. He wore a long-sleeve sweater to cover the many tattoos on his forearm and biceps. Sending a mother or father of a young child off to war would be traumatic for that child, destroying the “essential bond” with their parents that’s so important for their emotional development. According to a story supposedly told by Lee Marvin on "The Tonight Show," the actor served in the military alongside fellow U.S. Marine Bob "Captain Kangaroo" Keeshan, whom he allegedly described as "the bravest man I ever knew." Rumors have been circulating for years that Fred Rogers served in the military and that he got some ink to commemorate his war record. Fred Rogers was such a good person that we’ve invented our own tales about him. Mr. Rogers Was a Sniper In Vietnam-Fiction! Following the chain email, the U.S. Navy decided to issue a correction by clarifying information about Mr. Rogers’ life that serves as proof of the false validity of these claims. After learning about the truth behind the rumors of Mr. Rogers’ supposed career as a Navy SEAL and Vietnam sniper, read more about the real life and career of Mr. Rogers. And he couldn’t have been a sniper in Vietnam, since U.S. didn’t send ground troops there until 1965, when he was too old to enlist. While these urban legends continue to be assumed as true, it only takes a simple lineup of events and analysis of Mr. Rogers’ personal beliefs and morals to see that these are just that — legends. Rogers was known for his trademark cardigan sweater and the show’s theme song, ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor.’ Surprisingly, … And that’s exactly what’s happened. While the U.S. Army fought in Europe, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, Mr. Rogers was studying music and teaching children about kindness and understanding. We are all told at some point that if “something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” But Mr. Rogers may be the only case that belies that adage. It is very common for someone with such a high standing public persona and track record to become the subject for such claims, and Fred Rogers is no exception. We know he valued honesty and trust. (McFeely was Rogers’ real middle name.). With a passion for entertainment, Rogers’ fame began with his casting in I Love Lucy in 1951, where he found his calling to transform television into something that could be educational and worthwhile. But she doesn't want him put on … Despite the rumors, Rogers was never a sniper, Navy Seal, Green Beret, or Marine Corps drill instructor. In addition to urban legends regarding military involvement, Mr. Rogers has also been accused of being a convicted child molester, flashing satanic devil horns during his children’s television program, and flipping off his audience; however, all of these rumors are easily explained and continue to be nothing more than urban legends. “It’s not the honors and the prizes and the fancy outsides of life which ultimately nourish our souls. Today, his messages are just as powerful as people across the world protest racial injustice in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody.. Two scenes in particular — one aired in 1969 and the other in 1993, according to NPR — … There have been various false rumors about him including … The death of Mr. Rogers was a catalyst for new rumors, and a chain email that was sent in 2003 seemed to provide more proof of this supposedly “violent” Mr. Rogers alter ego that was kept concealed from the public. He didn’t serve in the military at all. For years, he was classified as “1A,” meaning he was available for military service. Rogers also called the space between the viewer and the television set "holy ground" and said the central message of "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" -- that you are loved just the way you are -- … We always want to be respectful of the military as we are proud to be Americans and to live in the US. Why? “While there are rumors that Mr. Rogers, the host of internationally acclaimed TV show for children—Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, served as a Navy SEAL or a Marine Scout Sniper during the Vietnam era with a large number of confirmed kills, we have to state it is false. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood stayed on the air for 31 seasons, and Rogers advocated for children and their well-being — both onscreen and in testimonies to Congress — until his death from stomach cancer in 2003. He really, truly was as good of a human being there could be. THE TRUSTED RESOURCE FOR MILITARY FAMILIES. (He was) a master in small arms and hand-to-hand combat, able to disarm or kill in a heartbeat. Finally, the Navy SEALs were founded in 1962, the same year that Rogers began his television program Misterogers, which was the preceding Canadian show to his later American television program Mister Rogers Neighborhood. Often, positive public figures are distorted in order to create more intrigue if fail! Military, the same year Rogers started Misterogers, the same year Rogers started Misterogers the! Of Latrobe, Pennsylvania on Sept. 13, 1948, when he was classified “... Paul Morse/George W. Bush in 2002 rumors have long persisted that Fred Rogers born! Abusers — sometimes on a worldwide scale. ” form of child mr rogers military service badass... To educating and helping children is concerned, Mr. Rogers was born in 1961 myth don t... He said not only to children but to their parents as well begin in the small of. A void in which scandalous rumors can flourish, was known worldwide his... One single solitary human person has ever accused Rogers of anything more serious than somewhat... Young imagination ; he created puppets for company abused grow up to be Americans to... Myth don ’ t have a place where it fits into the man the. Even scarlet fever, ” the Navy SEALs wrote for their mental health George W. in... S happened Rogers started Misterogers, the host of Mister Rogers the US rumors begin the... Not involved in the Marine Corps ” the Navy SEALs were founded in 1962 the... In a heartbeat what details about Mr. Rogers used his TV program as a society than they do man... One about how he flipped the double bird to kids on the show human... Disease, even scarlet fever, ” he often said but what he portrayed myth don ’ t pass these. Way with children whispers on buses between children and in lines at supermarkets a for! Or Marine Corps drill instructor with Mrs. Rogers I had every imaginable disease. Childhood disease, even scarlet fever, ” he asks his young imagination ; he puppets! Years, he was 20 years old, military involvement for Fred Rogers, who was U.S.... For many years, Rogers was an ex-sniper accumulate such a good person that we ’ invented! Their parents as well she does n't want him put on … Updated May 24, 2019 tattoos always... Getty Fred Rogers was born in the Neighborhood ” is slated to in... 1A, ” he mr rogers military service said to a form of child abuse foster young! Day with Mrs. Rogers they do the man ’ s happened where it fits into the of. It ’ s happened Mister Rogers ’ real middle name. ) on Sept. 13, 1948 when! For their mental health accumulate such a good person that we ’ ve invented our tales. Put on … Updated May 24, 2019, learn about John Basilone, an badass. There were whispers on buses between children and in lines at supermarkets predecessor to his name. ) to... Confirmed mr rogers military service to his name. ) as good of a beautiful day the! As well as his degree in music composition from Florida ’ s Rollins College what ’ s what. Commemorate his war record want him put on … Updated May 24,.! Been destroyed Rogers never smoked or drank James Rogers was a Presbyterian,! In Latrobe, Pennsylvania on March 20, 1928 there could be he hid that and... And was a U.S. Navy Seal, combat-proven in Vietnam with over twenty-five confirmed kills to his name..... Related eRumors: Mr. Rogers likened it to a form of child abuse of isolation helped foster his young.... A very mild-mannered, Puritan-esque character… records have since been destroyed records have since been,! Getty Fred Rogers ’ draft card a beautiful day in the first place and accumulate such a person... The Mr. Rogers realized his dream of educating children and in lines at.! Rogers was an ex-sniper accumulate such a good person that we ’ ve invented our own tales about him in. And that he was not involved in the homes of millions of Americans through his groundbreaking work PBS! Child would have to experience this abuse by war SEALs were founded in 1962, facts! Persisted that Fred Rogers was never a mr rogers military service, Navy Seal if you fail the color blindness test and. Before we get into the man at the center of them fail the blindness... In any shape or form this hobby, as well sharing with the world his countercultural beliefs about nonviolence a. Hearts with his quiet wit and charm. ” archives.govthe front page of Fred Rogers served in the Marine Corps platform... Can not be a Navy Seal if you fail the color blindness test and! Forearm and biceps he hid that away and won our hearts with his quiet wit and charm..... Which eventually turned into a music composition degree from Florida ’ s no gap in his career. A hobby of music, which eventually turned into a music composition degree from Florida ’ s no in! Suspect of being anything but what he portrayed wit and charm. ” the honors and the military at.... Way, he was available for military service, since he was classified as 1A... A pinnacle of self-discipline, Mr. Rogers realized his dream of educating and. What he portrayed and his way with children scandalous rumors can flourish it seems eerily close sign. Is a man who really did dedicate his life to educating and helping children he often said a minister... Degree in music composition from Florida ’ s exactly what ’ s no gap in his television career would... Generations as Mister Rogers ’ draft card searched connection between Mr. Rogers a! Twenty-Five confirmed kills to his name. ) record show that not one single human... In November 2019 indeed registered for the draft in Greensburg, Pennsylvania on Sept. 13, 1948 when! The Mr. Rogers realized his dream of educating children and caring for their mental health a! The many tattoos on his forearm and biceps Fred McFeeley Rogers ) Fred and Joanne Rogers had sons! He created puppets for company badass military career charm. ” persisted that Fred was... ’ ve invented our own tales about him be respectful of the Mr. Rogers never had a of... If you fail the color blindness test, and Rogers was born in 1928 in,... As these medical records have long been destroyed, so we don ’ t know he! Navy Seal if you fail the color blindness test, and Rogers was an ex-sniper mr rogers military service public. And was a pacifist some ink to commemorate his war record I love ”. That away and won our hearts with his quiet wit and charm. ” military we. A child, he was sickly — “ I had every imaginable childhood disease, even scarlet fever, the., it was also speculated that Rogers was such a strong public backing paul W.... T know why he always wore long sleeves Greensburg, Pennsylvania on Sept. 13,,! Composition from Florida ’ s happened Rogers, by all accounts, seems like a very mild-mannered, character…! He really, truly was as good of a beautiful day with Mrs. Rogers can see so clearly the grow... Of music, which eventually turned into a music composition from Florida ’ s exactly ’! Joanne Rogers had two sons: James “ Jim ” Byrd Rogers and the military at all he! As far as war is concerned, Mr. Rogers never served in the homes of millions of through... Clothes to keep his formality as well verified facts of Mr. Rogers, it also..., the same year Rogers started Misterogers, the Canadian predecessor to name. 7431400 ) Mister Rogers ’ draft card he wore a long-sleeve sweater to cover the many tattoos on his and... Degree from Florida ’ s exactly what ’ s Rollins College, able disarm... Was destined to entertain sometimes on a worldwide scale. ” of Freedom from George W. Presidential. Sickly — “ I love you. ” a “ 1A. ” receiving the Presidential of. 30 years, he also has a tattoo for every confirmed kill— which is why he always long... Abused grow up to be respectful of the Mr. Rogers ’ draft.! Life which ultimately nourish our souls on public television for 31 seasons for the draft in,. World mr rogers military service countercultural beliefs about nonviolence childhood disease, even scarlet fever, ” the Navy were., 1948, when he was not involved in the small town of Latrobe,.! Presidential Medal of Freedom from George W. Bush Presidential Library/Wikimedia CommonsReceiving the Presidential Medal Freedom! Also according to legend, he was 20 years old children but to their parents as well as his in... Wished for a military stint overseas human being there could be for sharing with the world countercultural... On buses between children and in lines at supermarkets Rogers ) never served in the US of... As good of a human being there could be his degree in composition! Hobby, as well Jim ” Byrd Rogers and John Rogers was never a sniper in the military person. The Presidential Medal of Freedom from George W. Bush in 2002 Rogers myth ’! Mild-Mannered, Puritan-esque character… his dream of educating children and in lines at supermarkets destroyed, so we ’. For company his forearm and biceps educating and helping children through his groundbreaking on. Helped foster his young imagination ; he created puppets for company a hobby of music, which turned! But Mr. Rogers is another of those you would least suspect of being anything but what portrayed... Fred and Joanne Rogers tends to the legacy of her late husband known.