We've cracked the glass ceiling, says Hillary Clinton after winning the US Democratic presidential nomination

Hillary Clinton has told Democrats they have "just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling" by nominating her for US president on a night awash with history.

Speaking via satellite radio, the former US secretary of state and first lady also offered a message to young girls who may have stayed up to see the ground-breaking moment: "I may become the first woman president, but one of you is next."

Clinton's victory has made her America's the first woman to be nominated for president by a major political party.

Her husband, former president Bill Clinton, took to the convention stage in Philadelphia and described his wife as an impassioned "change-maker".

"She's been worth every single year she's put into making people's lives better," he said.

If she wins in November, the Clintons would also be the first married couple to each serve as president.

Clinton will take on Donald Trump, who won the Republican nomination a week ago.

Bernie Sanders.
Bernie Sanders (Matt Rourke/AP)

In an important move for party unity, Clinton's primary rival Bernie Sanders helped make it official when the roll call got to his home state of Vermont, prompting delegates to erupt in cheers.

It was a striking parallel to the role Clinton played eight years ago when she stepped to the microphone on the convention floor in Denver in support of her former rival, Barack Obama.

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama.
Barack and Michelle Obama (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

On Monday night, first lady Michelle Obama made an impassioned case for Clinton as the only candidate in the presidential race worthy of being a role model for the nation's children.

US president Barack Obama and vice president Joe Biden will speak on Wednesday, along with Virginia senator Tim Kaine, Clinton's new running mate.

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