By accepting the party’s vice presidential nomination on the third night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., on Wednesday became the first woman of color to be nominated for a presidential ticket by a major political party.
Here are some of the top moments from the third of four nights of the DNC.
Harris Makes History
Kamala Harris made history as the first Black woman to accept a spot on a major party’s presidential ticket.
The 55-year-old California senator ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic presidential primary, dropping out months before the first votes were cast.
Former Vice President Joe Biden emerged on top of the once-crowded primary field, clinching the nomination and tapping Harris as his running mate last week.
By joining the party’s ticket, Harris also becomes just the third woman and first Asian-American to seek the vice presidency. She is a daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants.
A former state attorney general, Harris became close to Biden’s son Beau while he was attorney general of Delaware. Beau Biden died of brain cancer in 2015, and Harris was elected to the Senate the following year.
She said the country was at an inflection point, adrift from the constant chaos, afraid from the incompetence, feeling alone from the callousness. America needs a president who would bring people together, Black, white, Latino, Asian, indigenous, she said.
“Years from now, this moment will have passed,” she said. “And our children and our grandchildren will look in our eyes and ask us: Where were you when the stakes were so high? They will ask us, what was it like? And we will tell them. We will tell them, not just how we felt. We will tell them what we did.”
Watch Kamala Harris, the Democratic nominee for vice president, deliver her full address during the third night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Footage provided is a mixed feed and is a joint effort by the pool and the DNCC.
‘I Have Not Lost My Voice’
Former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords called on Americans to speak out to combat gun violence, “even when you have to fight to find the words.”
Struggling to speak herself, Giffords recounted her difficulty recovering from the 2011 shooting that nearly took her life.
Giffords said during brief remarks at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night: “Confronted by paralysis and aphasia, I responded with grit and determination.”
“Today I struggle to speak. But I have not lost my voice,” the former congresswoman added.
Since the shooting, Giffords has become a leading gun control advocate and frequently speaks out on the issue. She told viewers that Biden was there for her after the shooting and that they must participate in the November election to be “on the right side of history.”
“We can let the shooting continue, or we can act,” she said, adding: “We can vote.”
Watch former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ full address during the third night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Footage provided is a mixed feed and is a joint effort by the pool and the DNCC.
‘We Need a President Who Will Bring People Together, Not Tear Them Apart’
One of the most emotional moments of the night came from 11-year-old Estela Juarez, who read a letter to President Donald Trump about her immigrant family and the deportation of her undocumented mother, Alejandra Juarez, to Mexico.
“Mr. President, my mom is the wife of a proud American Marine, and the mother two American children,” she read. “We are American families. We need a president who will bring people together, not tear them apart.”
Her father, a naturalized American citizen who also had immigrated form Mexico, voted for President Donald Trump in 2016. He believed Trump would protect military families, Estela said.
He will not vote for Trump this year, she said.
As she read, Trump demeaned immigrants, calling them animals. His speech was juxtaposed against images of children being held in detention centers.
“Every day that passes, you deport more moms and dads and take them away from kids like me,” she said. ”You separated thousands of children from their parents and you put them in cages. Some of those kids are now orphans because of you.”
The third night of the Democratic National Convention featured 11-year-old Estela whose mom was deported shortly after her father, a U.S. Marine, voted for President Donald Trump. “Now, my mom is gone,” she said. “Instead of protecting us, you tore our world apart.”
‘But They Were Undeterred’
This week marks the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, a milestone acknowledged by some of the women who spoke through their choice of dress. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Rep. Gabby Giffords all wore white, the color of the suffragists who fought for the right of women to vote. But the woman who made history, Harris, chose a plum suit jacket instead as she accepted the vice presidential nomination. Harris acknowledged the 100th anniversary of the amendment.
“And we celebrate the women who fought for that right,” Harris said. “Yet so many of the Black women who helped secure that victory were still prohibited from voting, long after its ratification.”
“But they were undeterred. Without fanfare or recognition, they organized, testified, rallied, marched, and fought—not just for their vote, but for a seat at the table. These women and the generations that followed worked to make democracy and opportunity real in the lives of all of us who followed.”
Watch former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton deliver her full address during the third night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Footage provided is a mixed feed and is a joint effort by the pool and the DNCC.
Obama’s Words in Support of Biden
Former President Barack Obama has delivered a searing takedown of Donald Trump while presenting Biden and Harris as the ones who will “lead this country out of these dark times.”
Obama made the case for electing his former vice president and Harris, a California senator, during a live address to the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday from the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. He implored people to vote, arguing American democracy is at stake.
“This administration has shown that it will tear our democracy down if that’s what it takes to win,” Obama said, urging voters to “leave no doubt about what this country that we love stands for.”
Our ancestors were “Americans who fought the good fight,” he said, whether working in firetraps and sweatshops, immigrants told to go back, Jews, Catholics, Muslims and Sikhs under suspicion for how they worshipped or Black Americans chained and hanged.
If anyone had a right to believe that this democracy did not work, and could not work, it was those Americans,” he said. But they did not give up.
To today’s young people, he said, “You can give our democracy new meaning. You can take it to a better place. You’re the missing ingredient – the ones who will decide whether or not America becomes the country that fully lives up to its creed.”
Obama was among the headliners on the convention’s third night, speaking before Harris. They are both barrier-breaking figures, he as the nation’s first Black president and Harris as the first Black woman on a major party ticket.
Watch former President Barack Obama deliver his full address during the third night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Footage provided is a mixed feed and is a joint effort by the pool and the DNCC.