Curtis, Harriot and Peggy

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Curtis, Harriot and Peggy

American golfers and tennis players.

Harriot Curtis (1881–1974). Born Harriot S. Curtis on June 30, 1881, in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts; died on October 25, 1974, in Manchester-by-the-Sea.

Won the USGA Women's Championship (1906).

Peggy Curtis (1883–1965). Name variations: Margaret Curtis. Born Margaret B. Curtis on October 8, 1883, in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts; died in Boston on December 24, 1965.

Runner-up in the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship (1900 and 1905) and winner (1907, 1911, 1912); with Evelyn Sears, won the National Women's doubles title in tennis (1908); received USGA's Bobby Jones Award for "sportsmanship"; was one of the first to be inducted in the Women's Golf Hall of Fame (1951).

The sisters Curtis played significant roles in chipping women's golf out of its sandtrap. Peggy Curtis, who could belt a brassie farther than many of her male counterparts, was two-time runner-up in the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship. In 1907, she finally took the title by defeating the defending champion, her older sister Harriot, in the finals. In 1908, Peggy Curtis crossed over for a game of tennis, winning the National Women's doubles title with Evelyn Sears .

Along with several other top players, the Curtis sisters sailed to England in 1905 to play an informal team match and take part in the British Ladies' Championship, the first American women to take on the British opposition. They had hoped to establish an international competition, but another 25 years passed before the idea was resurrected. Then nearing middle age, the Curtises donated a trophy, thus beginning the Curtis Cup. The first match officially took place at Wentworth, Surrey, in 1932, with the Americans winning five matches to two. Since then, the Cup has been awarded every other year (excluding the World War II years).

During World War I, Peggy, known as a large, competitive woman who was oblivious to fashion, immersed herself in Red Cross Work and established food clinics for children in the war-torn countries of Europe. She died in Boston

in 1965. Harriot was a civil-rights activist, dean of women at Hampton Institute in 1927, and, for many years, secretary of the New England United Negro College Fund campaign. At age 93, she died in Manchester-by-the-Sea in the same room in which she had been born.

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Curtis, Harriot and Peggy

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