In 1978, Karol Józef Wojtyła was installed as the 264th Pope. According to Wikipedia, Pope John Paul II was the first first non-Italian pope since Adrian VI (Dutch) in the 1520s. His successor is German- born Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI. These two popes ended a 460-year long period when all the popes were Italians.
Barack Obama will, of course, be the first black president of the United States, with all the presidents in the 220 year period preceding his election being white men. Do you think Barack Obama's election signals a permanent end to the "tradition" where US presidents were all white men? Of the next five presidents following Obama, how many will be women, visible minorities, non-Christian, or otherwise not traditionally white Christian males?