When visitors to a national park in California ask Betty Soskin what it was like on the home front during World War II, she doesn't have to consult the history books. She lived it.
Produced by Robert Garrova
Marian Sousa didn’t have to look very hard for her first job.
The U.S. government hired her right out of a drafting class at UC Berkeley and Sousa became a draftsman at Shipyard Number Three during WWII.
KQED's Forum First Person series learns from Ranger Betty Reid Soskin about her work at the Park. Listen to the full episode here!
93-year-old ranger Betty Soskin started her career at the age of 85, and gives guided tours at the Rosie the Riveter, World War II Home Front National Historical Park. TODAY's Sheinelle Jones reports.
The oldest national park ranger in the US tells us why she's proud of the second world war home front park in Richmond, just across the bay from San Francisco...
I settled in the greater Bay Area as a six-year-old in 1927. When I graduated from high school in 1938, my two opportunities for employment were working in agriculture or being a domestic servant. At that time, labour unions weren't racially integrated and, during the war, I worked as a clerk for the segregated boilermakers' union.
This episode of the Park Leaders Show felt like I was talking to history. Betty Soskin is the oldest park ranger in the United States. Betty is 93 years old.
Yes, that is impressive. But even more impressive is Betty did not become a park ranger until she was 85 years old.
There are now more than 2,000 additional artifacts to check out at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park.
With the idea that small items can help explain the big picture, the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park on Friday announced the addition of more than 2,000 artifacts to its collection.
Friends, family and fans from the Richmond community were all smiles at the graduation ceremony for 2016's Rosie’s Girls. The program is designed to build character, resilience, team work, and real-world job skills for girls in “non-traditional” trades. Graduates embodied the spirit of Rosie the Riveter as they explored carpentry, welding, painting, silk-screening and more! Camp culminated in a four day overnight outdoor skills training experience at Yosemite National Park.
Many thanks to our partners who joined us in making this program a success -- the National Park Service and the YMCA of the East Bay. Our sincerest thanks to our generous sponsors, listed below. Thanks to your help, the Trust was once again able to provide full scholarships to all thirty camp participants. We couldn’t do it without you!!
At the Final Ceremony Richmond Mayor Tom Butt spoke to the importance of this special summer program, which serves girls from lower-income families in West Contra Costa County. Rosie's Girls danced, sang, and shared memories that are sure to last them a lifetime.
The summer wrapped up with a standing ovation for this year’s participants as the girls performed their own Rosie’s Girls Song:
“Cause I’m a Rosie’s Girl/in my blossomed world/learning who I am/ while I am a little girl/trying new things/Wouldn’t have known how, I see/that I am more than what you see/when you look at me/…”
We did it and we are proud! Read more about our program here!
SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR ROSIE’S GIRLS SPONSORS AND PARTNERS!
This year, Rosie the Riveter Trust partnered with Richmond Art Center to provide six current and former Rosie's Girls the opportunity to earn stipends while creating a permanent traveling exhibit about their Rosie's Girls experience. The exhibit, pictured above, was constructed during six Saturday morning workshops led by fabulous instructor Dawn Gonzalez. Participants learned valuable graphic design skills, practiced public speaking, and worked as a team to create a many-faceted exhibit that expresses what being a "Rosie's Girl" means to each of them. We want to thank our incredible participants for a job well done!