In this era of partisan divisions, Joanne Rogers often laments how much this generation of children could use the kindness radiated by her late husband.
"I’ve never known it in my life to be like this (time period)," she told NBC News ahead of the Thursday release of "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood."
"One of the most important things to Fred was reconciliation. I think he would be appalled," she says of the political discourse of this era. "I am appalled."
So, it's no coincidence that "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" — inspired by the true story behind Tom Junod's 1998 Esquire cover profile on children's television icon Fred Rogers, and the salve the experience had on the journalist's own fractured family life — is coming out now at a time when a majority of Americans are angry at the country's political establishment and pessimistic about its future.