2. In 2008 Obama delivered a speech just after winning the
elections. In this speech he talked about one of the people
who had voted for him. Her name was Ann Nixon Cooper
and she was 106 years old. Here is what he said:
Ann Cooper was born just a generation past slavery; a time
when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky.
3. ..When someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons,
because she was a woman and because of the colour of her
…. At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their
hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak
out and reach for the ballot.
Women's suffrage in the United States was achieved
gradually, at state and local levels during the late 19th
century and early 20th century, culminating in 1920
with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the
United States Constitution, which provided: "The right
of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be
denied or abridged by the United States or by any
State on account of sex."
4. When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression
across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a
New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose.
The Dust Bowl, also known as the Dirty Thirties, was a period
of severe dust storms that greatly damaged the ecology and
agriculture of the US and Canadian prairies during the 1930s;
severe drought and a failure to apply dryland farming methods
to prevent wind erosion (the Aeolian processes) caused the
5. The New Deal was a series of domestic economic programs
enacted in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They
involved laws passed by Congress as well as presidential
executive orders during the first term of President Franklin D.
Roosevelt. The programs were in response to the Great
Depression, and focused on what historians call the "3 Rs":
Relief, Recovery, and Reform. That is Relief for the unemployed
and poor; Recovery of the economy to normal levels; and
Reform of the financial system to prevent a repeat depression
6. When the bombs fell on our harbour and tyranny threatened the
world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness
and a democracy was saved.
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike
conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the
United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the
morning of December 7, 1941 (December 8 in Japan). The
attack led to the United States' entry into World War II.
7. She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in
Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta
who told a people that “We Shall Overcome”.
8. The Montgomery Bus Boycott, a seminal event in the U.S.
civil rights movement, was a political and social protest
campaign against the policy of racial segregation on the
public transit system of Montgomery, Alabama. The
campaign lasted from December 1, 1955, when Rosa Parks,
an African American woman, was arrested for refusing to
surrender her seat to a white person, to December 20, 1956,
when a federal ruling, Browder v. Gayle, took effect, and led
to a United States Supreme Court decision that declared the
Alabama and Montgomery laws requiring segregated buses
to be unconstitutional. Many important figures in the civil
rights movement took part in the boycott, including
Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ralph Abernathy
9. The Birmingham campaign was a movement organized
in early 1963 by the Southern Christian Leadership
Conference(SCLC) to bring attention to the integration
efforts of African Americans in Birmingham, Alabama.
Led by Martin Luther King, Jr. and others, the campaign
of nonviolent direct actions culminated in widely
publicized confrontations between black youth and
white civic authorities, and eventually led the municipal
government to change the city's discrimination laws.
10. The Selma to Montgomery marches, also known as Bloody Sunday and
the two marches that followed, were marches and protests held in 1965
that marked the political and emotional peak of the American civil rights
movement. All three were attempts to march from Selma to Montgomery
where the Alabama capitol is located. The marches grew out of the
voting rights movement in Selma, launched by local African-Americans
who formed the Dallas County Voters League (DCVL). In 1963, the DCVL
and organizers from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
(SNCC) began voter-registration work. When white resistance to black
voter registration proved intractable, the DCVL requested the assistance
of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership
Conference, who brought many prominent civil rights and civic leaders
to support voting rights.
11. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger
to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years
in America, through the best of times and the darkest
of hours, she knows how America can change.
But has America changed?