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Wonder women

Q. This deaf Cherokee woman has held 22 speed records on land and on water. Perhaps you knew her as the stunt double for television's Bionic Woman and Wonder Woman. Her name?

A. Kitty O'Neil (born 1946) has been clocked at 104.85 mph on water skis, and has fallen from 112 feet for a movie stunt.

Q. She was widely regarded as the single largest contributor in the history of Western dance, performing until she was 74 years old. Even in her retirement, she choreographed magnificent dance pieces for her troupe. Can you name her?

A. Martha Graham (1894-1991). Her entirely new approach to body and movement liberated dancers, placing them in a new relationship with the ground on which they danced.

Q. In college she headed the Black Student Union and choreographed dance productions. Later, she became a physician, then joined the Peace Corps. In 1992 she flew aboard Spacelab-J as the first African-American woman astronaut. Who is she, and what is she doing now?

A. Dr. Mae Jemison (born 1956) is pursuing another one of her dreams, focused on health care and scientific projects related to women and people of color.

Q. The first African-American allowed to play in a major U.S. or international tennis tournament dominated women's amateur tennis from 1947 to 1957, and was the top international professional player in both 1957 and 1958. Who is this dynamo?

A. Althea Gibson (born 1927) captured the women's singles title at Wimbledon in 1957. In 1958 she won both the singles and doubles titles there, as well as at the U.S. Open at Forest Hills, N.Y.

Compiled by National Women's History Project

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