US presidential nominee Hillary Clinton: 10 important dates in her own words

Hillary Clinton speaks during the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 28, 2016
Hillary Clinton speaks during the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 28, 2016 PHOTO: AFP

PHILADELPHIA (AFP) - Mrs Hillary Clinton, the first woman presidential nominee from a major United States political party, has spent most of her life in the public eye.

Here, in her own words, are 10 of the most important events leading up to her biggest challenge yet:

1. Hillary Diane Rodham was born in Chicago on Oct 26, 1947, to a middle-class suburban family.

"I was born an American in the middle of the 20th century, a fortunate time and place. I was free to make choices unavailable to past generations of women in my own country and inconceivable to many women in the world today." - Mrs Clinton, in her memoir Living History

2. Ms Hillary Rodham enrolled at the prestigious Yale Law School, where she would meet her future husband Bill Clinton in the spring of 1971. The couple married in Arkansas in 1975.

"So I stood up from the desk, walked over to him and said, 'If you're going to keep looking at me, and I'm going to keep looking back, we might as well be introduced. I'm Hillary Rodham.' That was it. The way Bill tells the story, he couldn't remember his own name." - Mrs Clinton, in her memoir Living History

3. Mr Clinton became governor of Arkansas in 1979 and again in 1983, making Mrs Clinton the state's first lady. Yielding to pressure, she agreed to take Bill's last name several years later.

"I decided it was more important for Bill to be governor again than for me to keep my maiden name. So when Bill announced his run for another term on Chelsea's second birthday, I began calling myself Hillary Rodham Clinton." - Mrs Clinton, in her memoir Living History

4. As US First Lady, Mrs Clinton spoke at the United Nations' Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, where she delivered her now famous line, which she still evokes 20 years on.

"Human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights." - Mrs Clinton at the UN Fourth World Conference on Women plenary session

5. Mr Clinton's affair with intern Monica Lewinsky, which came to light in 1998, captivated national attention. Mrs Clinton initially believed his denial and supported her husband publicly.

"Bill and I have been accused of everything, including murder, by some of the very same people who are behind these allegations. So from my perspective, this is part of the continuing political campaign against my husband." - Mrs Clinton, in an NBC Today Show interview

6. Mrs Clinton is easily elected to the US Senate in 2000, two months before she and her husband left the White House.

"Why the Senate and why New York and why me? And all I can say is that I care deeply about the issues that are important in this state, that I've already been learning about and hearing about." - Mrs Clinton, to reporters in Davenport, New York, while campaigning in 1999

7. Senator Clinton in 2003 voted to authorise then President George W. Bush to use military force against Saddam Hussein in Iraq. It's a vote she will later say she came to regret.

"I take the president at his word that he will try hard to pass a United Nations resolution and seek to avoid war, if possible." - Mrs Clinton, on the Senate floor

8. Mrs Clinton entered the Democratic presidential primary race in January 2007 and was favoured to win. However, she was beaten 17 months later by fellow senator Barack Obama.

"Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it's got about 18 million cracks in it." - Mrs Clinton tells supporters, conceding defeat

9. Four Americans including the ambassador were killed in attacks on the US mission in Benghazi, Libya, in September 2012. Mrs Clinton testified in January 2013 in tense hearings before lawmakers on the attacks.

"As I have said many times, I take responsibility, and nobody is more committed to getting this right." - Mrs Clinton at Senate hearing

10. On June 7, 2016, after a tough primary race, Mrs Clinton defeats challenger Bernie Sanders. On Thursday (July 28), she formally accepted the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, the first woman nominated by a major US political party.

"I will be a president for Democrats, Republicans and independents. For the struggling, the striving and the successful. For those who vote for me and those who don't. For all Americans." - Mrs Clinton, accepting the nomination in Philadelphia