Speed Reads

milestones

Betty Soskin, the oldest active park ranger in the U.S., celebrates her 100th birthday

Betty Soskin has done it all — she's been a songwriter, businesswoman, civil rights activist, author, and musician, and today, she's the oldest park ranger in the United States.

On Sept. 22, Soskin celebrated her 100th birthday, and was honored with quite the gift: a middle school in El Sobrante, California, was renamed in her honor to mark the milestone birthday. "Having a school named for me is more than I ever thought of because it means that a number of children will go into the world knowing who I was and what I was doing here," Soskin told ABC 7. "Maybe it will make a difference."

Soskin is a ranger at the Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California. During World War II, Soskin was a file clerk for a segregated union, and decades later, she became a park ranger at 85 so she could share with visitors what it was like for Black women during that era. "What gets remembered is determined by who's in the room doing the remembering," she said.