‘143 Day:’ Inaugural statewide day of kindness in Pennsylvania in honor of Mister Rogers

Fred Rogers (Getty Images)

HARRISBURG, Penn. — Beloved children’s television star Fred Rogers had a special code to let the people in his neighborhood know that he cared.

The late star of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” would say to his friends, “1-4-3,” which stood for the number of letters in the words “I love you.”

The Pennsylvania native best remembered for changing his shoes and zipping up his cardigan was honored for his kindness by his home state Thursday, May 23.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf declared “143 Day” on May 23 — the 143rd day of the year — as a day of kindness in Rogers’ honor.

Wolf tweeted that it was Pennsylvania’s first statewide day of kindness.

The state’s website urged residents to perform simple acts of kindness, such as giving someone your seat, taping coins to a parking meter or complimenting a stranger, and featured a quote from Rogers:

“Imagine what our real neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person.”

Officials with the Fred Rogers Center, which was set up to continue his legacy, said the number 143 was very special to him. It also was the weight he maintained during his adult life.

Rogers explained the significance to delivery man Mr. McFeely in one episode.

State officials said they hoped 143 Day was just the beginning and that Pennsylvanians — and anyone else interested in participating — make every day a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

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