Saturday, January 28, 2017
Thousands sign petition to name airport after Mister Rogers
By Alyssa Pereira
The San Francisco (CA) Chronicle
circa 1985: Portrait of children's television personality Fred Rogers (1928 - 2003) smiling whilst posing with a toy trolley on the set of his public television show, 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood'.
A man who launched a petition in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania hopes to convince the Allegheny County Airport Authority to rename the city's airport after a very important person: Fred Rogers, better known as the host of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."
"Pittsburgh's history is rich with culture from the countless peoples who settled in neighborhoods around town," the petition reads. "Fred Rogers, a television pioneer and children's entertainer, shared Pittsburgh's sense of community with the world through his PBS show, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood."
Rogers' show, which was first produced in Canada beginning in 1963, later moved to Pittsburgh in 1966. The children's favorite filmed there for nearly 35 years.
As CBS Pittsburgh reports, a local man named Ian Miller created the petition to change the name of the Pittsburgh International Airport — currently not named for anyone — to pay tribute to the TV icon as the Fred Rogers International Airport.
The petition currently has more than 4,600 signatures.
"Pittsburgh is still an active transit hub, and, for many people, our airport will be their first experience in Pittsburgh," Miller writes. "We wish to welcome everybody to our neighborhood."
These sorts of petitions can be a long shot, but if the name is approved, it would certainly not be the first publicly-owned airport to be named in favor of an entertainment star. The New Orleans airport is named for jazz great Louis Armstrong, the Santa Ana airport in Orange County is named for actor John Wayne, and Sonoma County's airport honors the famed "Peanuts" cartoonist Charles Schulz.