The historic nature of Hillary Clinton officially becoming the Democratic presidential nominee isn’t just about Hillary or my own dream of someone like her. Reports abound on social media that parents allowed their children to stay up past their bedtimes on a school night – as so many of us did in 1969 – to witness an important first in American history.
Do you remember where you were on July 20, 1969? If you do, I don’t have to tell you the significance of that date – it was the day the first man set foot on the moon. It’s such an historic date that even for those who weren’t alive then it has meaning, not just for being an important historical moment, but also for being the day on which a long dreamed of idea, that once was deemed virtually impossible, was accomplished.
47 years later, we have another day on the calendar that I have no doubt will take on similar historic significance – June 7, 2016, the date when Hillary Clinton became the first woman presumptive nominee of a major American political party. Not the same in importance you say? As a woman who came of age in the 1970s, and who has waited much longer than I ever thought I would to witness this moment, I beg to differ.
When Hillary Clinton took the stage in New York City Tuesday night, and the banner at the bottom of my TV screen read, “Hillary Clinton will be first female presidential nominee,” I started to cry. I cried with joy because even though there was a time as a young high school and college student when I thought that it was a foregone conclusion that I’d see a woman president before too long, decades passed with no probable female president in site. Before 2008, I’d begun to wonder whether watching a woman campaign for president as a major party nominee – and be on a general election ballot – had, for me, become a virtual impossibility similar to a moon landing.