East Bay icon “Ranger Betty” was the oldest active national park ranger in the United States until her retirement Thursday at the ripe young age of 100.
It’s the end of an era in the Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California. America’s oldest active park ranger Betty Reid Soskin, the turned 100 in September and now has a middle school named after her in El Sobrante, officially retired on Thursday, according to the Bay Area News Group. The centenarian civil rights icon worked until her last day and according to a NPS statement provided to KGOShe “spent her last day providing an interpretative program to the public and visiting colleagues.”
“To be a part of marking the place where this dramatic trajectory of my own life, combined with others of my generation, will impact the future through the footprints we left was incredible,” Soskin said in the statement.
Betty Reid Soskin wasn’t a lifeguard with the National Park Service, in fact she didn’t start working as a ranger until she was 84. Her National Park Service biography recounts that she was born Betty Charbonnet in Detroit, Michigan in 1921 and moved to Oakland in 1921, where she opened one of the first black-owned record shops in the Bay Area in 1945. She worked as an archivist at a segregated Union Hall during World War II and her stories of black experiences on the home front during the war gave her the prospect of becoming a park ranger at the Rosie the Riveter facility.
In 1995, she was named California Woman of the Year and received a Presidential Coin from President Obama after lighting the White House national Christmas tree in 2015. In 2011 she was made a full-time ranger.
“Although I’m not a historian by training, my tours are necessarily a way of sharing my oral history with the public.” told the today show in 2015. “I tell the story of African American workers.”
According to NBC Bay Area, “A complimentary ceremony recognizing Soskin is scheduled for Saturday, April 16 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Craneway Pavilion at 1414 Harbor Way South in Richmond. All ages are invited, no reservation required.”
PICTURED: EL SOBRANTE, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 22: Betty Reid Soskin, the National Park Service’s oldest full-time ranger in the United States, sits in front of a sign during a ceremony for the newly renamed Betty Reid Soskin Middle School on September 22, 2021 in El Sobrante, California. Soskin had the school renamed after her on her 100th birthday. She currently works at Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park, where she leads tours, speaks with groups, and answers questions about living and working in the area during World War II. Soskin worked as a clerk for the Boilermakers A-36 in Richmond, California during the war. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
100-Year-Old National Park Ranger Betty Reid Soskin Has Retired Source link 100-Year-Old National Park Ranger Betty Reid Soskin Has Retired