Rare Footage of Mr. Rogers Performing Theme Song in Poughkeepsie
There wasn't a dry eye in the house when Mr. Rogers sang "Won't You Be My Neighbor" during a visit to Poughkeepsie almost 20 years ago.
Fred Rogers made a visit to the Hudson Valley back in 1999 when the host of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood was invited to be the commencement speaker at Marist College. Thanks to newly released video from the college, we can now see exactly how magical that day was.
According to an account posted on Marist's website, Rogers was asked to sing his famous theme song by then college president, Dennis Murray
When I spoke with Mr. Rogers about his presentation, I asked him if he would be willing to sing his signature song, “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” He said he wasn’t sure, but that he would think about it.
School officials weren't sure what Rogers would do during his commencement address, so they decided to set up an electric keyboard and microphone just in case the TV personality was inspired to sing.
When it was time for Rogers to step up to the podium and begin his speech, the beloved children's advocate spontaneously moved over to the keyboard and began to sing his famous song.
According to Murray "there was hardly a dry eye among the 10,000 people in the audience."
The Fred Rogers biography "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" inspired Marist to release the rare footage so everyone could get a chance to hear his words of kindness and acceptance that touched all of those in attendance almost 20 years ago.