An Historic Day

BarakYesterday was an historic (historically important) day in the United States. No matter if you are liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat, it was hard not to notice the significance of what happened in Denver, Colorado, last night. There, one of the two major political parties in the United States, the Democratic Party, nominated (chose) as its presidential candidate the first African American to represent a major political party in US history. His name, you probably know, is Barack Obama.

Even if Senator Obama doesn’t win the presidency in the election (which will be the first week of November), it is an important step in American politics. The idea of a Black or African American presidential candidate would have seemed impossible even 20 years ago, and, I think, his selection is a good sign for our country.

Tonight, Senator Obama will accept the nomination in a nationally televised (shown on television) speech in Denver. Interestingly enough, today is the anniversary of another famous speech, that of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous address (speech) in Washington DC back in 1963, where he spoke in favor of civil rights for all Americans. King’s speech, which is commonly called the “I Have a Dream” speech, is perhaps one of the best known in modern American history.   Today, we are a little bit closer to fulfilling (carrying out, making true) King’s dream of equal rights for all men and women in the US.


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24 Responses to An Historic Day

  1. emiliano says:

    Congratulations to all you american people as yes, it is an historical day for your country and also for all people all over ther world that thinks democracy is the best way of living in a Nation.
    I remember perfectly well the speech of Martin Luther King because I was 19 years old and I was very concerned about what was happening in your country and the problems with discrimination that was so bad in those days.
    I never can’t forget what happend then and how sad was the dead of M.L.King killed by a madkiller and also the killing of the two Kenedy brothers, sad days, bad days, good days also, days when many things changed for the future.
    I’m happy of living the sixtees and remembering that fascinating decade.

    I have to say tha before I prefered Hillary, but now I want Obama to President, even more now that I have listened his wife speaking, she looks as and intelligent and nice person, that sure she may be a great support to him.
    In my position I want her also as “primera dama” because I know she is going to do something about m.e. investigation, as her father suffer this decease same as my wife.
    Being as President’s wife she could do a lot of things about this matter. I’m crossing my fingers…
    Obama for President.

  2. OSMAN says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I guess you already know the relationship between Obama and Japan.
    A friend of mine who lived in Japan have seen a young Japanese weraing an
    I LOVE OBAMA T-shirt.
    Here is the reason


    PS: thanks a lot for the podcasts.I use my MP3 reader only for your lessons and
    take it with me everywhere.I live in Italy.Now I am in France with a very good company like yours.

  3. stephane says:

    Thank you Jeff
    We are all proud of this ; it could be a great lesson for the whole planet …

  4. kate says:

    Why do you use article ‘an’ before the ‘historic’ word here? The first letter (‘h’) is a consonant and sounds like a consonant so I would thought article ‘a’ should be used here.
    BTW, thanks for the interesting info, Jeff!

  5. nathaniel soriano says:

    The used of “an” in the title also caught my attention. May be just a typo error.

  6. Wolfgang says:

    Thanks Jeff for this commentary on this historic event. Your nation can be proud of this! In addition a woman as presidential candidate would be a similar historic event. In this case we in Germany are in a pioneer position and are also proud of it. I was a little astonished that Hillary Clinton supports him in this way, because he don´t even consider to ask her for his running mate. But she seems to be very disciplined and I ask myself, what he had promised her in return. Most people in Germany are crossing their fingers for Obama, since he symbolizes a new beginning, but I am not sure, whether he is skilled enough to solve the coming problems especially with Russia.

  7. marie says says:

    Thank you for the wonderful work you are doing.
    I am very happy that for the first time “the dream of Martin Luther King” is becoming a reality. :=)
    We are Humains. ….
    We speak a lot about to put the planet under protection but still in many places Men and Women are not treated as humain and have no enough protection. .
    I hope and I am waiting that Politicians could act faster for the respect of humain and for a democratic life because even if you have courage and you are able to make the best to get out of your situation , if the conditions around break the liberty ot think all efforts are lost .

    I think that you are an active person in a democratic system who give a chance to many people in the word to make progress because your school is very smart. Thank again you for that .

  8. elcomandant says:

    I’m glad Obama was chosen candidate to the next president. I think the most important is this fact. In other words, a few years ago was inimaginable that one Afro-American was capable to have at least the opportunity to arrive at White House.
    This means that American society has gone a little bit farther. The following step forward will be when, Mr. Obama or whoever he/she is, but not white race, he/she might become president of UU.EE.
    I don’t know who will win, but sure that the american people already won.

  9. Dr. Jeff McQuillan says:

    Regarding the question about “a historic” versus “an historic”: Either one is considered correct by most speakers, although “a historic” is a little more common. My Google search found 3.2 million pages with “an historic” and 7.9 million with “a historic.”

    The general rule in English is that you put an ‘an” in front of words that begin with a vowel or a vowel sound. So we say “an egg,” “an accident,” and “an hour” (because the “h” is silent (not pronounced)). Now, the “h” of “historic” is in fact pronounced by most speakers, so “an” would seem to be wrong. However, since the stress of the word is not on the first syllable but on the second (hi-STOR-ic), the “h” is not pronounced as strongly. Perhaps for that reason, you will hear people say “an historian” and “an historic.” Some people think “an historic” sounds more “educated,” but that is really just a matter of opinion. Honestly, when I wrote the post, I first wrote “a historic” but that didn’t sound right to me, so I changed it to “an historic.” Again, either one is possible here.


  10. kate says:

    Great! Thank you for the explanation, Jeff.

  11. Yury says:

    A good sign for US is very needed now.Breaking through the established human stereotype is not easy.But I believe that an intelligence is still the main standard what steer people to making their decision.Not the race,age or an appearance are the main criteria when you to decide who is your choice.If you still not sure who is the right candidate for you-take a look who are the people who backing either of the two contenders. Unfortunately,many people are very very stubborn, and ,what worse,obstinately refuse to think. But I believe.Only changes move us to a progress and better life.
    THANK YOU – Jeff and Lucy for all your great job!!

  12. Krompter says:

    Hi everybody, and thanks Jeff for the explanation about “an” versus “a” question.
    It’s a great accomplishment to the american people the participation of a African American politician as a presidential candidate. Here in Brazil there’s still a lot of prejudice against black people, and they have a small participation in politics as well. If he wins, it will be a remarkable achievement on behalf of equality among races not just for the USA, but for the world.


  13. Roberto says:

    I have always thought that the US president was, in some ways, ruling more than one nation and that he was making decisions that would have involved my country too.
    Most of the European democracies (and the nation where I live is a tangible example) have often subordinated their foreing (and home) policy to the decisions made in Washington DC which, to some extent, was understandable and fairly good until that notorious “wall” crumbled down.

    Now, nearly at the end of a decade dominated by the terrorism and the questionable methods that a warmongering president and a band of loyal european servants adopted to fight it, I passionately wish that a young smiling guy, by the name of Barack Obama, would become the next President of the United States of America …. and in some ways mine too.

    … and then, maybe in one hundred years, there will be also a black man, in a white cassock, waving his hand from a window in the Vatican City!!! … is this too forward?!?

    So why not JEFF FOR PESIDENT???!!!

    Love & Peace

    Roberto, Italy (USA 🙂 )

  14. Hamed says:

    hi Dr. Jeff
    i am a newbie in ESL podcast and introduced with your podcast surprisingly!
    as you would like to know this story i tell you, you podcast mp3 file unaware received by free download offline service and when i decide to delete them accidentally one of them opened and i would attracted by you excellent work,
    be success for ever

  15. Calvin says:

    To Hamed,

    Hoho, my experience is some kind of similar to yours. I just accidently surffed on the Internet and did some research via google blog search (my first thought is to search some materials of ETS but I wrongly type ESL), then I found this wonderful website.

    Calvin (China)

  16. jerry says:

    hi Dr. Jeff:

    Thanks for you website.

    i listen the episode every day:)


  17. malika says:

    Hi Jeff, I feel that this event affected all the nations in the world, and I do believe that the majority of people prefer Mr. Barak Obama to be the next president. Personally, I hope that, not only because he is an African American person, but especially because he seems to be much more human than the other candidate. Besides, a person who feels good and has a stability in his family would handle the challenges more efficiently. On top of that he has a shining smile which can be felt as a non faked one !

    By the way many thanks for sparing no effort to make us good speakers of that beautiful language 🙂

    Malika (Morocco)

  18. Wislei de Oliveira says:

    Hi Jeff,
    How many oficial political parties is there in America?

  19. fatima says:

    Congratulations, to US people, and to all of us,
    I think it´s a great step in the cause of human rights, and I hope that, in addition, he will be a good president.

    thanks Jeff

  20. Ariel says:

    Today, we are a little bit closer to fulfilling (carrying out, making true) King’s dream of equal rights for all men and women in the US.
    Why does it use “fulfilling” instead of “fulfill”?

    I thought “to-infinitive” forms.

  21. Dr Helmut Jünck says:

    Dear Jeff,
    you do so great to publish these articles free of chage.My 14 years old gaughter ,a student of Bonn International school, loves your articles and your ESL POD very much. It helps extraordinarily to study English
    in a very clear and easy way.
    I would like to thank you personaly, but we live in Bonn,Germany


  22. Extramurs says:

    In my opinion, This has been one of the most important news of the history. Thirty years ago, nobody could think that a person who was not a white man might have been the president of the United States. But now, Obama can be president (and I think he will be it).

    Good luck! I would like to have an Obama in my country! 🙂

  23. OSMAN says:

    For Ariel about to fulfilling…
    I think TO here means For not To of infinitive verbs.
    Here an example:
    At the end of a letter I used to write: Looking forward to hearing from you in the next future.
    May be I am wrong.
    Osman (Carpi Italy)

  24. sherif says:

    what is going on here?

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