Bernie Sanders just became the first Jewish candidate to win a primary in American History

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Sanders: First Jewish Candidate to Win Delegates

On Tuesday night, Sen. Bernie Sanders achieved something that just one year ago seemed utterly impossible — convinced a majority of voters in one of the most crucial contests of the presidential nomination race that his renegade left-wing politics were a good fit for the White House. But that evening he also achieved another notable feat, and it's one entirely without precedent: he became the first Jewish candidate in American history to win a presidential nominating contest.

Click through to read the 10 facts you should know about Sanders:

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Bernie Sanders just became the first Jewish candidate to win a primary in American History

1. He's a socialist, and he doesn't deny it. When he ran for office in 1990 he responded to an ad trying to link him to Fidel Castro by saying,  "I am a socialist and everyone knows that."
 

(AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

2. He used to moonlight as a comedy actor, appearing in the 1999 film "My X-Girlfriends Wedding Reception."

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

3. He is the longest-serving Independent member of Congress ever.

 (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

4. He made headlines in in 2010 when he tried to block a deal that included a tax cut extension for the wealthy with a filibuster-like stand. The stunt trended on Twitter with the hashtag #filibernie and later crashed the Senate video server.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

5. He is not religious. While all past presidents have been openly religious and Christian, Sanders says he identifies as Jewish but doesn't practice. 

 (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

6. Despite being given an"F" rating by the NRA, Sanders has often voted in their favor. Once he voted to pass a bill that would prevent people from suing manufacturers, dealers and distributors when their products were misused.

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

7. He grew up in a working class family in Brooklyn, and his father was a Polish immigrant.

 (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

8. He released an album called 'We Shall Overcome' in which he reads speeches about peace and justice with a choir singing in the background. It's available on iTunes. 

(Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call/Getty Images)

9. He is a big believer in Scandinavian political thinking and has said that the U.S. should adopt some of their principles, including the idea that health care should be a right, and higher education should be free.

 (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

10. Barack Obama campaigned for him when he ran for Senate in 2006.
(photo credit: AP)
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Other Jewish candidates have sought a major party nomination in the past. In 1996, Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania took a shot at the Republican nomination, and in 2004 Sen. Joe Lieberman from Connecticut attempted the Democratic one. Despite at one point faring well in national polls, Lieberman failed to win any presidential nominating contests. In New Hampshire, he came in fifth, and secured no delegates.

SEE MORE: A dark-horse candidate is surging to a strong finish in New Hampshire

Sanders' candidacy is not only a first for Jewish-Americans, but is also blazing a new trail for non-Christian Americans more generally. Last week during the Iowa caucuses he won more delegates than any other non-Christian candidate in American history. Tonight he set that bar higher.

Sanders is generally secular but he's described himself as proud of his Jewish heritage and someone guided by spiritual feelings.

"Everybody practices religion in a different way ... I would not be running for president of the United States if I did not have very strong religious and spiritual feelings," Sanders said during a town hall earlier in February.

Unlike during then-Sen. Barack Obama's rise in 2008, the unprecedented nature of Sanders' candidacy is not being emphasized in popular narratives surrounding his ascent. As CNN's Greg Krieg reported in a story consulting Jewish political activists and scholars, perhaps Sanders' minority faith has been "overlooked because attitudes toward Jews in America have evolved to the point where there's no stigma attached to his background."

SEE MORE: Bernie Sanders defeats Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire

That may be just as impressive a sign of progress as Sanders' victory.

PHOTOS: See more of the candidates in New Hampshire

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Candidates in New Hampshire
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Bernie Sanders just became the first Jewish candidate to win a primary in American History
US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders celebrates victory during a primary night rally in Concord, New Hampshire, on February 9, 2016. Political novice Donald Trump and self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders won New Hampshire's presidential primaries Tuesday, US media projected, turning the American political establishment on its head early in the long nominations battle. / AFP / Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
With his wife Karen at his side Republican presidential candidate Ohio Gov. John Kasich cheers with supporters Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Concord, N.H., at his primary night rally. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks to supporters on primary election night, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Hollis, N.H. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Republican presidential candidate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie thanks supporters during a primary night rally in Nashua, N.H., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., fist bumps his son Dominick Rubio, 8, after speaking at his primary night rally at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, N.H., on Tuesday Feb. 9, 2016. With him is his family Amanda Rubio, 15, Anthony Rubio, 10, Daniella Rubio, 13, and wife Jeanette Dousdebes. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a primary night rally, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Manchester, N.H. At his side are his wife Melania Trump, left, and daughter Ivanka Trump, right. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
HOOKSETT, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at her primary night gathering at Southern New Hampshire University on February 9, 2016 in Hooksett, New Hampshire. Rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) was projected the winner shortly after the polls closed. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks after Primary day at his election night watch party at the Executive Court Banquet facility on February 9, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Trump was projected the Republican winner shortly after the polls closed. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - February 9: Republican presidential candidate Governor Chris Christie visits voters at T-Bones Great American Eatery in Derry, New Hampshire on February 9, 2016. (Meredith Dake-O'Connor/CQ Roll Call)
NASHUA, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greets voters outside of a polling station at Fairgrounds Junior High School on February 9, 2016 in Nashua, New Hampshire. New Hampshire voters are heading to the polls in the nation's first primaries. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
John Kasich, governor of Ohio and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, center, greets voters while arriving with his wife Karen Waldbillig Kasich, left, at a polling station at Broken Gound Elementary School in Concord, New Hampshire, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. Voters in New Hampshire took to the polls today in the nation's first primary in the U.S. presidential race. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images
MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz crosses his fingers as he speaks to a supporter following a campaign stop on February 9, 2016 at the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester, NH. Voters throughout the state are heading to the polls as the New Hampshire Primary, also known as the first-in-the-nation primary, continues the process of selecting the next president of the United States. (Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump greets supporters as he takes the stage during a primary night rally, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
CONCORD, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) walks through downtown Concord on election day on February 9, 2016 in Concord, New Hampshire. Sanders, who is expected to win over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, greeted voters before taking a short walk where he was mobbed by members of the media. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Writer George Zornick of The Nation is interviewed by Ari Rabin-Havt at SiriusXM Red Diner Broadcasts from New Hampshire Primary Coverage Live on February 9, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. (Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore outside the polling place at Webster School on primary day February 9, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Candidates from both parties are making last-minute attempts to swing voters to their side on the day of the 'First in the Nation' presidential primary. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
CONCORD, NH - FEBRUARY 09: democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders walks through downtown Concord on election day on February 9, 2016 in Concord, New Hampshire. Sanders, who is expected to win over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, greeted voters before taking a short walk where he was mobbed by members of the media. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Carly Fiorina, former chairman and chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard Co. and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, left, stands for a photograph behind her campaign RV after visiting a polling station in Bedford, New Hampshire, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. Voters in New Hampshire took to the polls today in the nation's first primary in the U.S. presidential race. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush greets voters outside the polling place at Webster School on primary day February 9, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Candidates from both parties are making last-minute attempts to swing voters to their side on the day of the 'First in the Nation' presidential primary. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida and 2016 presidential candidate, greets campaign volunteers outside a polling station in Bedford, New Hampshire, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. Voters in New Hampshire took to the polls today in the nation's first primary in the U.S. presidential race. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, center, greets a resident during a visit to a polling station in Bedford, New Hampshire, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. Voters in New Hampshire took to the polls today in the nation's first primary in the U.S. presidential race. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
DERRY, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) poses for a picture with Frank Fiorina, husband of republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, outside of a polling station at Gilbert H. Hood Middle School on February 9, 2016 in Derry, New Hampshire. New Hampshire voters are heading to the polls in the nation's first primaries. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) steps off his campaign bus outside the polling place at Webster School to thank supporters February 9, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. With a good showing in the Iowa caucuses, Rubio has stepped into the crosshairs of fellow Republicans running for president and super PACs that want to slow his momentum with attacks on what they call his robotic and repetative messaging. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
US Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks to the crowd during a rally February 8, 2016 in Manchester, NH. US presidential candidates, including billionaire Donald Trump and under-pressure Democrat Hillary Clinton, criss-crossed snowy New Hampshire in a final frantic bit to win over undecided voters before Tuesday's crucial primary. / AFP / Don EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich shake hands as he visits a polling station at the high school, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Donald Trumps poses for a photo at Webster Elementary School in Manchester, N.H., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Jill Colvin)
Republican presidential candidate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie shakes hands with supporters of Donald Trump while visiting a polling station on New Hampshire primary day during a campaign stop in Londonderry, N.H., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Republican presidential candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks with voters outside of Webster Elementary School in Manchester, N.H.,Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Alex Sanz)
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