Hillary Clinton makes history: Scenes from final night of the DNC
On the fourth and final night of what became a historic Democratic National Convention, Hillary Clinton officially accepted the first ever nomination of a woman candidate for the U.S. presidency.
“Tonight, we’ve reached a milestone in our nation’s march toward a more perfect union: the first time that a major party has nominated a woman for president,” Clinton said to a roaring crowd. “Standing here as my mother’s daughter, and my daughter’s mother, I’m so happy this day has come.”
The nominee returned repeatedly to the idea that progress requires sacrifice—her campaign’s theme that “it takes a village,” and that, in contrast to Donald Trump’s claim that “I alone can fix it,” no one person can do it alone.
The night’s speeches reflected that theme.
Clinton was preceded on the stage by her daughter, Chelsea, Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez and the families of police officers killed in the line of duty. Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm riled the crowd up with impressions of Republican nominee Donald Trump, while retired U.S. Marine General John Allen, flanked by colleagues, triggered competing chants of “No More War!” and “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”
But no moment prior to the arrival of the Democratic presidential nominee was more commanding, more penetratingly intense an example of sacrifice perhaps, than was the appearance of Khizr Khan, whose son was one of 14 American Muslims who died serving the United States in the 10 years after September 11, 2001. Captain Humayan S.M. Khan was a University of Virginia graduate enlisted in the U.S. Army.
“Our son, Humayan, had dreams, too—of being a military lawyer, but he put those dreams aside the day he sacrificed his life to save the lives of his fellow soldiers,” Khan said. “Hillary Clinton was right when she called my son the best of America. If it were up to Donald Trump He would have never been in this country,” he added.
Trump, Khan said, asks Americans to trust him with their future, but, he asked, had the candidate ever read the United States Constitution? Khan gestured toward the camera, Constitution in hand, offering up his own personal copy. The question was met with raucous cheers from the audience.
“You have sacrificed nothing,” Khan continued, speaking of the Republican nominee, “And no one.”
By the time Clinton took the stage the audience was emotional — more than a few were crying, while others cheered and hugged. A planned walkout of Bernie Sanders supporters did not materialize, though many stood in silent protest, wearing bright yellow.
The nominee thanked the Sanders campaign for putting economic and social justice issues “front and center, where they belong,” and laid out her plan for the U.S.
“Whatever party you belong to, or if you belong to no party at all, if you share these beliefs, this is your campaign,” she said. “I will be a president for Democrats, Republicans and Independents.”
With just about three months until the November election, Clinton has little time to bring former Sanders supporters and never-Trumpers onto her side, as the nation gears up for the televised debates to come. For now, she is off to Philadelphia on Friday for her first rally as the official nominee.
These photographs were shot on assignment by photographer Mark Peterson for MSNBC Photography as part of his on-going body of work “Political Theatre” which examines the landscape of the American political system.