1. Big Bird Ran For President Alongside Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford
Big Bird has come up in some recent presidential races, but did you know that the Bird himself threw his feathers into the ring to run for office? In a 1975 episode of Sesame Street, Big Bird decides he would make a good president, and kicks off his campaign with a song called “President Bird.” Of course, the run was short-lived, as any elected US President must be over the age of 35 and Big Bird is only about 6, according to Caroll Spinney. In fact, later on in the episode, street sweepers find discarded Big Bird campaign buttons after the Bird’s failed run. The episode was part of season 7’s curriculum focus on government and the 1976 U.S. Bicentennial.
Go to the Sesame Street website for toolkits for teachers, parents, and caregivers.
2. Mister Rogers’ Mom Knitted His Famous Cardigans
In this clip from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood provided by The Fred Rogers Company, Rogers explains to the audience how his mother knits the sweaters he wears on the show.
“You know when I put on one of these sweaters, it helps me to think about my mother,” he says. “I guess that’s the best thing about things – they remind you of people.”
Since sweaters remind us of our favorite neighbor, we’ll be wearing our own favorite sweaters on March 20th to celebrate Fred Rogers’ birthday and maybe taking a trip to the Smithsonian Museum of American History to catch a glimpse of one of those famous cardigans.
3. A Regular Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! Panelist had to Write for a Dog
Not just any dog, though – Wishbone. Mo Rocca, who is a regular on NPR’s news quiz show Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!, was a writer on the 90’s show featuring “the little dog with a big imagination.” Rocca recalled his experience as part of his commencement address to Sarah Lawrence College’s Class of 2016. “It was a storytelling boot camp,” he says.
Watch Rocca’s whole speech >>
4. The Hottest House Band on PBS Still Tours
Rockapella, the voices of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? still hit the road to play venues all over the country. Luckily you won’t need help from The Chief to find them, since their tour dates are posted on their website.
5. Lamb Chop has a Weird Connection to Star Trek
In 1969, Shari Lewis, puppeteer and creator of Lamb Chop’s Play-Along co-wrote an episode of Star Trek with her husband, Jeremy Tarcher. Lewis was a Trekkie, and writing for the show fulfilled a dream of hers. She even auditioned for a role in the episode, but wasn’t cast. The episode, “The Lights of Zetar” involves Scotty’s new lady crush and a mysterious energy storm the Enterprise encounters.
If only they could beam up Charley Horse.