This Shocking Episode Of Mr. Rogers Is Banned From TV

Fred Rogers was a pioneer of children's television. The Presbyterian minister changed the way the media educated kids in 1968, with the premiere of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood." Rogers was known for not only speaking to children like adults but also for reminding them they were special at the end of every episode.

In "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," Rogers discussed fairly innocuous topics like haircuts and sharing — but also tackled more mature issues like depression and death that were seen as taboo back in the day. The show, which spanned multiple decades, also featured guest stars like fellow children's TV host Bill Nye, acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Academy Award-winning actress Rita Moreno, and even Big Bird from "Sesame Street."

Though the series has been publicly lauded for the delicate and intelligent way it educated children about the world around them, there was one surprisingly dark five-episode arc from the early 1980s that aired on TV once and was never shown again.

The episodes were meant to teach children about the Cold War

In 1983's "Mister Rogers Talks about Conflict," the gentle-natured host spent the week attempting to educate children about nuclear warfare and how to gear up for potential annihilation. At the time, the U.S. and what was then known as the Soviet Union were in the thick of the Cold War, and the show created its own version in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

One of the Neighborhood's puppet inhabitants, King Friday, becomes worried that Corny, a local factory owner in the neighboring town of Southwood, is building a bomb. After convincing himself that Corny is planning an attack against Make-Believe, he begins to build and bomb and encourages the residents to do the same. Throughout the week, children were taught how to put on gas masks and survive impending air raids.

At the end of the series, we learn that the conflict was an allegory for political paranoia: King Friday was ordering parts to build a bridge, not a bomb. The episodes were pulled from syndication, most likely due to their controversial nature (via The Daily Beast).

Two out of the five "Conflict" episodes were uploaded to Youtube in March 2017 but were taken down a few days later. To this day, the original footage still technically remains lost.