The City of Daly City will host its 22nd Annual Black History Month Celebration on Saturday, February 1, 2014, from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Pacelli Event Center, 145 Lake Merced Blvd. Betty Reid Soskin, a 92-year-old Park Ranger who works at the Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, is the featured speaker at this year’s event. Soskin is the oldest full-time Park Ranger in National Park system. Her firsthand accounts of the bustling shipbuilding activity along the Richmond waterfront during World War II brings history to life for thousands of park visitors each year. She is scheduled to speak at 12 noon.
Soskin became a media sensation earlier this year as the unlikely face of the Federal government shutdown. She was just one of the 800,000 government workers furloughed on October 1, but her story resonated throughout the nation. She is a passionate historian who just wanted to get back to the job she loves. If her name is familiar, it may be because you have seen her in the newspaper or on TV. During the government shutdown, Soskin appeared on numerous news programs and even made an appearance on the Arsenio Hall Show.
An eloquent speaker, Soskin has been leading tours in Richmond since she began her career as a Park Ranger at age 85. She is driven to preserve and share the legacy of the many “Rosie the Riveters” who built ships in the Bay Area to aid the war effort. Soskin was born on September 22, 1921 in Detroit, Michigan, but she has spent most of her life in the Richmond/Berkeley area.
The theme this year’s Black History Month Celebration is Civil War in America. Highlights of the annual event will include African-American history presentations, live performances, and a tantalizing array of soul food. In addition to the remarkable food, the event will feature ethnic gift vendor booths, civil rights era documentary clips, and a youth art display. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and admission to the celebration if free. Ample parking is available at Westlake Park, located on Lake Merced Blvd., just north of John Daly Blvd. For more information about the Black History Month Celebration, call the Daly City Department of Library and Recreation Services at (650) 991-8001.