Nov 23, 2015
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Betty Reid Soskin — the famous park ranger at the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond — has been invited to introduce President Barack Obama at the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Dec. 3.

In her blog, the 94-year-old Soskin, the nation’s oldest park ranger, wrote about the excitement from receiving the invite by phone from National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis:

“I was stunned.  I’m not sure where my feet were,” she said.

The National Park Foundation and National Park Service are holding the 93rd National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, which features a performance from several notable musical acts including Hall of Famers David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash.

Soskin is the great-granddaughter of a slave and at age 20 worked as a clerk at the all-black auxiliary of a segregated boilermakers union in Richmond during World War II. She began her career with NPS at the age of 85 and was a driving force behind the formation of Richmond’s national park. Among her duties, she conducts speaking engagements, bus tours, and gives presentations at the park’s visitors’ center.


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.