Obama is far from the first African-American to run for the nation’s highest office. We’ve been putting our stamp on elections and presidential terms through the ages.

  • 1968: Comedian Dick Gregory pulled 1.5 million votes as a write-in presidential candidate. Some think Democratic candidate Hubert Humphrey, who lost to Richard Nixon, would have won if not for Gregory.
  • 1972: Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman to serve in Congress, was also the first woman to seek the Democratic nomination.
  • 1988: In Jesse Jackson’s second run, he captured 13 primaries and caucuses, including Virginia, South Carolina and Michigan.
  • 1996: Bill Clinton was reelected, and two years later Toni Morrison called him the first Black President. She later said that she had been “misunderstood.”

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