US Election 2016

In Pictures: Watching Hillary Clinton make history

Elaine Newman Image copyright C. Northcott
Image caption Elaine Newman

Hillary Clinton has become the first woman ever to become a major party nominee for US president. The BBC travelled to the Women's National Democratic Club, founded in Washington DC in 1922, to capture the scene as Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination.

This is a historic event for women across the country, but on one leafy street in Washington DC, it has a special significance.

New Hampshire Avenue is home to the Women's National Democratic Club, situated in a 19th Century mansion. Since the organisation was founded in 1922, members have been campaigning tirelessly for female representation in government.

On a rain-lashed night, they witnessed a historic first. Come November, Democrats in the US could be celebrating their first female president.

Elaine Newman, originally from Chicago, is 91 years old. She has waited her whole life to witness a woman rise to the top of American politics.

"I have been involved in women's rights many times in my life, but I have never seen this," she said.

Newman, who is the daughter of Russian and Ukrainian immigrants, stayed up until the early hours of the morning to watch Clinton accept the Democratic party's nomination via a projector screen in the women's club.

"I have not seen as much change as I would like. We have a way to go," she said.

Young voter Image copyright C. Northcott

Nikardi Jallah is a public health student at George Washington University, in Washington DC. Originally from the Netherlands, she moved to the US in 2001 and recently gained citizenship.

"This is my first time voting as an American," she said. "It's really exciting. I think US politics is a mess. But I'm loving this election!"

Family voters Image copyright C. Northcott

Three generations of the Schwartz family gathered to watch the nomination, including young Ilona Schwartz. Her grandmother, Karen, was in the same year as Clinton at Yale Law School.

"We were in a class together, but were never close," she said. "The only thing I remember is that she was dating a boy my friend was also dating!"

Female voter. Image copyright C. Northcott

Dr Gail Anderson Holness is a former criminal lawyer and is currently a minister. She believes Clinton's nomination is a victory for African-American women.

"First there was Obama, and now Hillary," she said. "This is big history. It's exhilarating. An African American and then a woman. Girls will watch this and say, 'This could be me'."

Women in deep conversation Image copyright C. Northcott

The Women's National Democratic Club has members from 22 states and is one of the oldest female political organisations in the country. Members come to listen to guest speakers and to engage in debate.

Female voter Image copyright C. Northcott

Anna Fierst is the great-granddaughter of Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady to Franklin D Roosevelt and pioneer of American feminism. Eleanor played an important part in the formation of the UN Commission on Human Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

"Everyone is kind of giddy," said Fierst, referring to Clinton's nomination. "It's been almost 100 years since we got the vote. But who's counting."

Democrats watching Clinton speech Image copyright C. Northcott

If Clinton wins the presidential election on 8 November, she will join a host of women occupying powerful positions in the world, including Theresa May, British Prime Minister, Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, and Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF.

Gender inequality in politics is still an issue. Only 22% of all national parliamentarians are women as of August 2015.

Happy voter Image copyright C. Northcott

Elizabeth Joyce is long-term member of the Women's National Democratic Club.

"It's ridiculous it's taken this long!" she said. "So many years of hard work. We never gave up. This is a huge moment for America."

Watching the TV Image copyright C. Northcott

Hillary Clinton did not accept her nomination until 10pm, following three days and nights of speeches at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia. Many supporters at the women's club tuned in for all four nights of the event, staying past midnight.

Another happy voter Image copyright C. Northcott

"I am so proud," said Patricia Fitzgerald. "We're all hoping it's going to turn out right for the election. The alternative, well, it's scary."

Between now and the presidential vote on 8 November, Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, and Clinton will battle it out in the public eye, debating and campaigning throughout the US.

Woman praying for Hillary Image copyright C. Northcott

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