Starting off with a scream that would curl Howard Dean’s hair, Meryl Streep took the stage at the Democratic National Convention tonight to talk about the party’s presidential nominee — and other barrier-smashing women in American history. With a veteran thespian’s upturned chin and deliberate cadence, the three-time Oscar winner championed Hillary Clinton and her pioneering predecessors.

“What does it take to be the first female anything?” she asked. “It takes grit. And it takes grace.” Streep then talked about just how those words apply to the first woman to be a major U.S. political party’s nominee for president and name-checked Sandra Day O’Connor, Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart, Harriet Tubman, Sally Ride and others. “These women share something in common: capacity of mind, fullness of heart and a burning passion for their cause. They have forged new paths so that others can follow them. … That’s Hillary. That’s America.”

She went on to remind the crowd at Day 2 of the DNC in Philadelphia of the night’s recurring theme: “Nearly a hundred years after women got the vote, you people have made history. And you’re gonna make history again in November — because Hillary Clinton will be our first woman president. … She’ll be the first, but she won’t be the last.”