Meeting at noon Monday in North Carolina's historic Capitol, the state's presidential electors made history. In accord with the quaint and quirky mechanisms of the Electoral College, they ratified the state's — and the nation's — choice of Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaJuan Williams: Honesty, homophobia and Mayor Pete Democrats debate how to defeat Trump: fight or heal 3 ways government can help clean up Twitter MORE as president.

Even Obama's political opponents acknowledge the moment's meaning for American democracy. Perhaps nowhere in the land was that meaning more evident than on Capitol Square in Raleigh.

The stone Capitol completed there in 1840 has witnessed an arc of history — slavery, the Confederacy, war, prosperity and hard times, civil rights lost and won — and now the election of the United States' first African-American president. Monday's vote took place in the same handsome old House chamber where North Carolina's secession from the union was declared on May 20,1861.

What a long and welcome way we've come. If only so many good people, black and white, could have lived to see the day.

… The 15 Tar Heel electors who cast their ballots Monday really do have something special to remember. Not only was this the first time since 1976 that Democratic electors took part in the North Carolina's Electoral College formalities, it was another milestone in making "All men are created equal" a reality in America's political life.