Yesterday, Sen. Barack Obama was nominated by acclamation to be the nominee for the Democratic Party for the 2008 presidential election, becoming the first African-American to be nominated as a presidential candidate for any of the major parties. (Several third parties have nominated black candidates.)

It's been a long journey to this moment -- 389 years since the first African slaves were brought to what is now the U.S., and 219 years since the first president took office.

Here are some of the steps along the way:

* 1619 -- First African slaves brought to Jamestown, Virginia

* 1789 -- George Washington takes oath as first president of the United States

* 1868 -- 14th Amendment to U.S. Constitution ratified, recognizing African-Americans as citizens, but states reluctant to recognize right to vote.

* 1870 -- 15th Amendment to U.S. Constitution ratified, banning race-based barriers to voting

* 1877 -- After growth of African-American voting in the South, Reconstruction era brought to violent end; Jim Crow laws limiting franchise for blacks introduced

* 1888 -- Frederick Douglass becomes the first African-American to win a vote in a major party's (Republican) presidential roll call vote (He got one vote on the fourth ballot)

* 1964 -- 24th Amendment to U.S. Constitution ratified, banning use of poll tax

* 1965 -- Voting Rights Act passes

* 2008 -- Barack Obama nominated as Democratic Party candidate for president