Heroine of the Week: Betty Reid Soskin, the Oldest Park Ranger in the U.S.

 

Photo: Luther Bailey, National Park Service

This week we salute Betty Reid Soskin, who at 99 is the nation’s oldest park ranger.  She works at the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California, and has since her mid-80s. She began her involvement while the park was still being planned.  Betty is Black and worked for a company in Richmond during World War II.  But she never thought of herself as part of the story because “Rosie the Riveter represents the white woman’s experience on the home front.”  When she got involved in the park, she realized that her own job in Richmond during the war in fact supported the war effort.  Now the Park also tells the story of the African American homefront experience.  When asked about her advice for young people (aka everyone else) is “stay involved. To do anything less than that is to not measure up to one’s potential.”

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