May 16, 2014
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Betty Reid Soskin

National Public Radio aired a great segment Thursday about Betty Reid Soskin, who at age 92 is the oldest national park ranger.

The radio program interviewed Soskin for its Wisdom Watch program, which interviews folks who have “made a difference through their lives and their work.”

Soskin is an interpretive ranger at Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historic Park, which she helped develop.

Rosie the Riveter represents American women who worked in factories to fuel the World War II effort while men battled overseas. Soskin at the time was employed as a clerk for an all-black auxiliary of a segregated boilermakers union, but reportedly never saw herself as a Rosie the Riveter.

“That really is a white woman’s story,” Soskin told NPR.

The NPR article continues:

After all, [Soskin] points out, black women like her grandmother had been working outside their homes since slavery. Soskin never saw a ship under construction — each day, as she carpooled from her home in Berkeley to the union hall in Richmond, she never had ‘any sense of what that greater picture was.’”

The article goes onto to discuss the many lives Soskin has lived. A truly fascinating and impressive woman. Listen to the interview here.


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.