Ten years ago today, on November 4, 2008, Barack Obama became the first African-American to be elected as president of the United States, defeating Republican John McCain.
The then 47-year-old Democrat, who became the 44th U.S. president, garnered 365 electoral votes and nearly 53 per cent of the popular vote, while his 72-year-old Republican challenger captured 173 electoral votes, more than 45 per cent of the popular vote.
The symbolic news of Obama’s victory, for most Americans, came at 11 p.m., yet tens of thousands of people who were elated about the history-making moment turned out to hear Obama’s victory speech in Grant Park in his hometown Chicago.
In his speech, he made clear that while his victory signalled a change in America, much remains to be done in terms of the core issues that faced the country at the time – among them the economy, and the Iraq War.
Despite some challenges he faced with the U.S. economy, he accomplished many great things by the time his term ended in January 2017, after securing a second term in 2012.
The 2012 Person of the Year is credited for ending the war in Iraq, taking down Bin Laden, saving the American auto industry, favoring women rights and equal pay, repealing “Don’t ask, Don’t tell,” establishing “The Dream Act,” ending the 2008 recession, and a host of others.
Below are photos of the extraordinary night the first black president got elected into the White House: