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Democratic Party history from the year you were born

  • 1991: Democrats approve Operation Desert Storm

    The Democratic-controlled Congress gave President George H.W. Bush approval to attack Iraq over its invasion of Kuwait. Operation Desert Storm lasted six weeks and resulted in fewer than 150 American deaths among the 500,000 troops involved. Bush sought Congressional approval, but wrote in his diary that he was determined to go ahead even without it and even if that meant impeachment.

    [Pictured: President George Bush announces to Congress that American troops are to be sent to Iraq in the lead up to the 1991 Gulf War on March 6, 1991.]

  • 1992: Clinton wins presidency

    William Jefferson Clinton won his first term as president, ousting Republican incumbent President George H.W. Bush. Over the course of his presidency, he achieved a series of economic successes, among them the lowest modern unemployment rate, the lowest inflation in three decades, a balanced budget, and a budget surplus.

    [Pictured: Presidential candidate Bill Clinton (D-AR) speaks on the final weekend of his campaign Oct. 30, 1992, in Springfield, Ohio.]

  • 1993: Another Clinton leads health task force

    President Bill Clinton announced that his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton would head a task force looking at how to reform America’s health care system. President Clinton hoped to be able to provide all American’s with health care, but by the end of the next year, the plan was dead.

    [Pictured: President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore look on as First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks about health care reform on the south lawn of the White House on Sept. 23, 1993.]

  • 1994: Democrats lose control of Congress

    For the first time in 40 years, Republicans win control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate in what’s called the “Republican Revolution.” Their “Contract With America” called for dismantling welfare programs created by Democrats, balancing the budget, and cutting taxes.

    [Pictured: Newt Gingrich, speaker of the House of Representatives, holds a copy of the "Contract With America" during a speech on April 7, 1995, on the steps of the Capitol in Washington.]

  • 1995: Barry begins fourth term as mayor

    Marion Barry is sworn in as mayor of Washington D.C. for his fourth term. In between his first three terms, which began 16 years earlier, and his second stint in office, he got caught in a sting set up by the FBI and Washington police. Claiming he was set up, Barry was arrested on drug charges and went to jail. At the end of his final term, Congress created a financial control board to bypass Mayor Barry. He died in 2014.

    [Pictured: Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) confers with District Mayor Marion Barry during a break in the House panel vote to cut the District's budget by $148 million.]


  • 1996: Clinton is re-elected

    President Bill Clinton beat Republican Kansas Sen. Bob Dole to became the first Democrat since President Franklin D. Roosevelt to win a second term. Republicans kept control of Congress. Ross Perot, a Texas billionaire who also ran, came in third. Clinton had about 49% of the popular vote to 41% for Dole.

  • 1997: Clinton eliminates budget deficit

    President Bill Clinton reaches an agreement with Republican leaders in Congress on a plan to eliminate the budget deficit over five years. The strong economy allows them to be successful. Some of the surplus was a result of the Social Security payroll tax, but even without Social Security, the fiscal year 1999 had a surplus of $1.9 billion and the fiscal year 2000 had an $86.4 billion surplus, according to

    [Pictured: Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich shakes hands with President Bill Clinton before the president signs the Balanced Budget Agreement on Aug. 5.]

  • 1998: Clinton is impeached

    President Bill Clinton became the second president to be impeached, charged by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives of perjury for lying under oath and of obstructing justice. He was accused of trying to cover up an affair he had with Monica Lewinsky, a young White House intern.

    [Pictured: Independent counsel Ken Starr being sworn in prior to testifying about his investigation of President Clinton's relationship with Lewinsky.]

  • 1999: Clinton is acquitted

    Early in the year, President Bill Clinton was acquitted of the impeachment charges in the Senate. All 45 Democrats voted for his acquittal, and five Republicans joined them. An attempt to censure the president in the Senate also failed. Clinton later said he was “profoundly sorry” for his behavior.

    [Pictured: President Clinton talks to the media after learning that the Senate voted to acquit him on Feb. 12, 1999.]

  • 2000: Gore loses to Bush in disputed election

    Vice President Al Gore lost the presidential election to Republican Texas Gov. George W. Bush in a contested election that went before the U.S. Supreme Court. In December, the court halted a Florida recount and the decision went to George Bush. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor later said, “Maybe the Court should have said, ‘We’re not going to take it, goodbye.’”

    [Pictured: Texas newspapers reporting on the presidential race dated Nov. 27, 2000.]