On a cold day in February 2007, Barack Obama - the popular African American senator from Illinois - announced that he was running for president of the United States. He made the announcement in Springfield, Illinois, where almost 150 years earlier Abraham Lincoln had warned Americans of the danger of living in a country divided by slavery. Obama said that day, "Few obstacles can withstand the power of millions of voices calling for change. By ourselves, this change will not happen. Divided, we are bound to fail. But the life of a tall, gangly, self-made Springfield lawyer tells us that a different future is possible." In 2007, many people doubted the junior senator had a chance of winning the Democratic Party's nomination, much less the presidential race. But Obama toughed it out over many months of campaigning on promises of change to eventually gain the highest office in the land, becoming the first African American president of the United States in 2009.