Tuesday was a big day for many reasons. America now has 20 female senators. Gay marriage passed by referendum in three states. And, of course, we re-elected America’s first African-American president. Nov. 6 will go down in history as an incredible day for the advancement of civil rights in this country. Naturally, all of these gains didn’t happen overnight—rather, they were the result of long, hard-fought battles for equality.
Magnum photographers have recorded many of the struggles over the right to vote, the right to marry, and the right to be included in the political process. Below is a selection of iconic, memorable moments throughout the 20th century that helped lead to the historic gains on Tuesday.