Happy birthday, Betty Reid Soskin! The nation’s oldest active park ranger celebrated her 95th birthday Thursday with a special day that was quite a whirlwind.
Soskin, who works at the Rosie The Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park in California, is currently on a 10-day trip to the nation’s capital. She’s been invited to attend the opening ceremony of the National Museum of African American History and Culture on Saturday. Soskin, who lived through the Civil Rights era, already enjoyed a preview tour of the museum, which she says brought back memories of her childhood.
Soskin said she’ll be a little starstruck at Saturday’s opening event.
“This ‘lil ole lady ranger will be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Laura Bush, Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, Willie Brown, General Colin Powell, etc., and we may all be wondering just how on earth she ever got on the A-List!!” Soskin wrote on her blog.
The spunky nonagenarian, who only became a park ranger a decade ago, was attacked and robbed by an intruder in her own home earlier this summer, and had a commemorative coin, which was presented to her by President Obama, stolen. Luckily, she escaped with minor injuries and was able to return to work. The coin was later replaced by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.
Things are looking up for Betty, though. She was given a card and a birthday cake on Thursday at the National Parks Service’s Washington office and got to tour the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Happy birthday, Betty!