The first U.S. Presidential Election was held in 1789, when George Washington was elected unanimously as the first President of the United States.
Some of the biggest names in world politics have risen to power through these elections, including Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy.
Since the ratification of the Twelfth Amendment, which transformed the U.S. presidential election process and allowed for the House of Representatives to select the winner in the case of a tie, the 1824 presidential election was the only election to be decided by the House of Representatives. The winner of that election, Andrew Jackson, won the popular vote, but is the only U.S. president to have lost the electoral vote.
The 1940 election of President Franklin D. Roosevelt marked the first (and only) time in U.S. history that a president was elected to a third term, followed by the 1944 election, when he was elected to his fourth term. The most recent presidential election in 2008 saw the election of the nation's first African American president, Barack Obama.
Post-Civil War amendments to the U.S. Constitution extended voting rights to many additional groups of Americans. The Fifteenth Amendment gave non-white men the right to vote in 1870, though it was not until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that this was thoroughly enforced.
Women secured the right to vote for the first time in 1920, with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution. That election was also the first time the results were communicated over the radio. However, the first woman to become a presidential candidate came much before that, when Victoria Woodhull campaigned as nominee for the Equal Rights Party.
The age requirement for voters in U.S. presidential elections was lowered from twenty-one to eighteen with the Twenty-sixth Amendment to the Constitution in 1971.
|Historical US Elections|