Section 7: Milestones in U.S. Election History

This post is part of an archived series of blogs called The LeVine Line, written by former Ambassador Suzan G. LeVine during her time at U.S. Embassy Bern.

25 October 2016

  • 1789 — George Washington is unanimously elected president of the United States in a vote by state electors.
  • 1870 — Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, giving African-Americans the right to vote (Feb. 3).
  • 1919 — Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, granting women the right to vote (Aug. 18).
  • 1951 — Twenty-Second Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, limiting an elected president to two terms in office, a total of eight years.
  • 1965 — Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the U.S., signs the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits discriminatory voting practices (Aug. 6).
  • 1974 – Richard Nixon, 37th President of the U.S., resigns; he is succeeded in office by his vice president, Gerald Ford (Aug. 9).
  • 2000 — No clear winner is declared in the close presidential election contest between Vice President Al Gore and Texas Governor George W. Bush (Nov. 7). Bush formally accepts the presidency, having won a slim majority in the Electoral College but not a majority of the popular vote (Dec. 13).
  • 2008 – Barack Obama becomes the first African-American elected President of the United States.
  • 2016 – Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes the first woman nominated for President by a major party.