Congratulations to Sahana Sundar from Jericho Middle School. Her Junior Individual Performance Susan Ahn Cuddy; The Pioneering Woman Who Broke the Glass Ceiling for Asian American Women in the Military was selected as 2023 First Place in the New York State History Day Contest. The State wide competition was held at SUNY Oneonta on April 24.
This 8th Grade student qualified to compete in person at the National History Day competition to be held at the University of Maryland at College Park June 12 and 13.
During my interview with Sahana I was impressed with her character and research about Susan Ahn Cuddy. She asked some well thought through questions. Her interest was sincere. She seemed to have the confidence Susan Ahn Cuddy had to make a good presentation and impress the Judges. When I saw the pictures of her performance her display looked great. Obviously, Sahana presented her performance perfectly to be selected First Place.
Thanks to the teachers at Jericho Middle School for their guidance and support during Sahana's preparation. And, thanks for the interest in Susan Ahn Cuddy as a person whose life was a meaningful part of Frontiers in History.
Sahana you did a great job! Good Luck in the Nationals!
First Place NYSHD 2023 Junior Individual Performance
Preparing Susan Ahn Cuddy display for the Junior Individual Performance at NYSHD event at SUNY Oneonta April 24, 2023
Performing in front of the NYSHD Judges explaining Susan Ahn Cuddy's life and role in Breaking the Glass Celing for Women in the Military. Sahana put toghether a well organized display covering a lot of history.
Susan Ahn Cuddy - Secrets of WWII Exhibit held April 2 to October 9 2022
Secrets of WWII Ronald Reagan Library
SAC's Navy memorabilia will be on display for the first time.
Susan Ahn Cuddy was rejected for US Navy Officer's School. She was definitely qualified. "I had a friend at the Univerity of Southern California Dean of Women's office, and she was a little upset, and she said: "Let me find out why you were denied." Her friend went down to the local Navy office and found out Cuddy was denied because she was Korean.
"We were unusual in those days, and we looked like the enemy. So anyway, they didn't accept me which was o.k. -- I didn't care. But a month later they wrote me and said that I could enlist. And you know, there's a big discrimination between officers and enlisted. So I went down to the board and I said: "I was refused to become an officer. What's my situation?" And they said: "Oh, you can work your way up to be a Chief Petty Officer." I said "Fine" and so I joined!"
Susan Ahn Cuddy with Lucy Lee Ahn - Philson Ahn's wife - at home talking about their life stories.
Susan Ahn Cuddy honored by DOD for AAPI Month
Susan Ahn Cuddy honored by Today Online for AAPI month
Susan Ahn Cuddy honored by US Naval Historical and Heritage Command for AAPI Month
Susan Ahn Cuddy frequently enjoyed the writings of Maya Angelou. Almost every day during the last few years of her life she would read Angelou's words and reflect on her own life.To anyone who learns about her life both of these quotes could be her mantra. "If you are always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be." and "I can change by what happens to me. But, I refuse to be reduced by it."
A broad variety of things happened to Cuddy throughout her 100 years. These experiences impacted her life. Through numerous obstacles and disappointments she achieved amazing accomplishments many people would not dare to achieve or have the courage to try.
"Susan Cuddy used to tell me: 'Life wasn't fair.' It took me a while to understand what she meant." Racism, inter-racial issues, Japanese spies, sexism and growing up without a father are examples some of the experiences that were not fair to her. She overcame the tremendous challenge of being a trailblazer through sincere persistence and having the courage to do the right thing.
Fair or not throughout her life she really made the best of everything. She traveled many places. Everyone she influenced was better off by knowing her. She treated everyone politely and gave everyone a fair chance.
What would Cuddy think about the many changes around the world that have taken place since 2015? The Ahns were migrant farm workers in America struggling to make a life in the early 1900's. Racism was no stranger. She grew up during the Japanese Occupation of Korea her parents' homeland. She was right in the heart of DC with a direct view of how the United States dealt with its citizens and with the world. At one time she had her finger on the pulse of Japan and Russia. She was no stranger to questionable foreign policies and how world leaders employed them. Overblown egos, dishonesty and limited knowledge of the characters in the current nightmare of political affairs would be highly dissapointing. The lack of sound character among American and foreign leaders would concern Cuddy. The loss of what truth and justice means would alarm her.
Cuddy made clearly impacted history for one person. In positive ways Suan Ahn Cuddy changed the lives of many. Absolutely an amazing life...
Veteran's Day City of Malibu
2006 AAJC American Courage Award National Press Club Washington DC
Veteran of the Day Lt. Susan Ahn Cuddy US Department of Weterans Affairs
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