NEW YORK - Hillary Clinton became the first female presidential nominee of any major American party Tuesday night, a historic milestone that sets the stage for a battle to prove to voters that she is someone they can trust in the White House.

The traditional roll call vote at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia marked the end of the year-long primary process and the final stand for loyalists of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. In a sign of party unity, Vermont was the last state to vote, calling for Mrs Clinton to win the nomination by acclamation.

"History," said a post on her Twitter account.  Clinton, a former first lady, senator and secretary of state, will take the stage Thursday, the last night of the convention, when she's expected to make a personal appeal to unify the party in her quest to defeat Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, in November. It's a task that has been made harder because of continued resistance this week from many supporters of Sanders, a left-leaning politician.

Part of that task fell to former president Bill Cinton, who delivered a keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention that began by recounting his courtship of his wife and detailed her lengthy career in public service, including helping children, immigrants and people with disabilities.

“She’s the best darn change-maker I ever met in my entire life,” the former president said. “This woman has never been satisfied with the status quo on anything. She always wants to move the ball forward. That’s just who she is.”

Bill Clinton also argued that Republicans had tried to turn his wife into a “cartoon” during their national convention last week in Cleveland, Ohio. “What’s the difference in what I told you and what they said?” he asked. “One is real and the other is made up. You just have to decide which is which, my fellow Americans.”

Late in the evening, Mrs Clinton briefly addressed the convention via a video feed, appearing after an animated pane of glass shattered. “I can’t believe we just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet,” she said to cheers.

Mr. Clinton, who was defeated by Barack Obama for the 2008 Democratic nomination, proved to be a resilient campaigner in her second presidential bid, yet she also displayed campaign vulnerabilities that Republicans will look to exploit.  Chief among them are likability and trust. Wall Street Journal/NBC News polling has shown that both Mrs Clinton and her Republican opponent, Donald Trump, are disliked by more voters than any nominee in the past quarter-century.

Asked why many voters distrust her, Mrs Clinton has often said Republicans have sought to demonise her and subjected her to unfounded attacks.

But she hasn’t always helped her own cause. For months, she defended her use of a private email account and server during her tenure at the State Department.  FBI Director James Comey criticised her email arrangement as “extremely careless,” but said he wouldn’t recommend the Justice Department pursue criminal charges.

Polls showed voters haven’t bought her explanations, and Mrs Clinton later said the move was a mistake and vowed not to repeat it.

Reversing voters’ negative sentiment fell to one of the party’s most persuasive speakers. Bill Clinton highlighted Mrs Clinton’s skill as an agent of change, recalling her work in Arkansas developing preschool programmes and her efforts to overhaul the health-care system early in his presidency.  “She’s insatiably curious, she’s a natural leader, she’s a good organizer, and she’s the best darn change-maker I ever met in my entire life,” he said.

Bill Clinton added: “Some people say, well, we need change, she’s been around a long time. She sure has, and she’s sure been worth every single year she’s put into making people’s lives better.”

And describing her activism as a young law student, he said: “Hillary opened my eyes to a whole new world of public service by a private citizen.” He ran through a narrative of their lives together, from the multiple times she rejected his marriage proposals to dropping daughter Chelsea off at college, during which Mrs Clinton obsessed about installing paper liners in her daughter’s dresser drawers.