It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. That’s because today is “143 Day” in Pennsylvania in honor of the state’s favorite neighbor, Mister Rogers. The day honors Rogers and his legacy with a statewide day of kindness.
Rogers considered the number 143 to be special because it was his special code for “I Love You,” based on the number of letters in each word. He even tried to maintain his weight at 143 pounds by swimming at a local pool every day.
“From today forward, the 143rd day of the year is #143DayinPA, a day when we encourage our residents to share the acts of kindness and good deeds they do for each other,” a Pennsylvania state government press release explains. “This way, we can all reflect on how grateful we are to have each other. So let’s get out and make someone feel the love.”
Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf announced 143 Day, tweeting that he has met countless Pennsylvanians as governor. “And I know we’re genuinely nice people,” he tweeted. “Join me in spreading love today and seeing just how far a little kindness can go.”
A Kindness Tracker on the Pennsylvania government website encourages Pennsylvanians to do something nice and then tell them by loading it onto the tracker.
“Starting on May 23, we’ll see just how far a little kindness can spread,” the website explains. “Just imagine the change we would see in the real world if all 12.8 million Pa. residents participated.”
A Kindness Generator offers suggestions of small acts of kindness Pennsylvanians can do to help someone, including donating to local children’s funds because, as Mr. Rogers once said, “There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.”
The children’s TV icon—who was the focus of acclaimed 2018 documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and will be portrayed by Tom Hanks in forthcoming biopic You Are My Friend—died in 2003, 37 years after his PBS classic Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood launched from a Pittsburgh studio in 1966. Rogers is also a Latrobe, Pa., native.