NY Museum Acquires Billie Jean King Archive Including ’74 Dress

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New-York Historical Society has acquired the archive of tennis great Billie Jean King .

The museum said Friday it includes documents, personal scrapbooks, photographs and more.

The highlights are her 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the first to be awarded to a female athlete.

Other items include a patriotic Philadelphia Freedoms team dress that inspired a song by Elton John. King wore it during the 1974 inaugural season of the tennis team.

King won 39 Grand Slam titles and lobbied for gender pay equality in the sport. She famously beat Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes” match in 1973.

The National Tennis Center in Flushing, Queens — the home of the US Open — was renamed after her in 2006.

Selected items will go on view at the museum’s Center for Women’s History, slated to open next spring.

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