Happy Birthday President Nelson Mandela!

For some, 1918 easily exceeds the grasp of memories, but not for President Nelson Mandela. Born Rolihlahla Mandela on July 18, 1918, Mandela celebrates his 95th birthday today. In the nearly 100 years of time that Nelson Mandela has graced this planet’s gravel and grass, he has done everything in his power to change how people live for the better. As the world celebrates this milestone birthday, we’d like to share just a few highlights related to the Nobel Peace Prize he received in 1993 with F.W. de Klerk.

Credit: South Africa The Good News / www.sagoodnews.co.za

After joining the African National Congress (ANC) in the 1940’s, Mandela quickly moved through the ranks and was considered a political luminary, even at a young age. Formed in the early 1900s, the ANC is a multi-racial nationalist movement and political party that rose to great power and significance during Mandela’s life. Its mission, similar to Mandela’s own, was to bring racial equality to South Africa by ending the apartheid system. Prior to winning the 1994 general election to become President of South Africa, Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize with President F.W. de Klerk (2012 Nobel Peace Prize Forum keynote speaker!) in 1993 for “for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa.”

If you live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, we encourage you to attend the “Book of Honors and Tributes” festivities and book signing at Augburg College (March 17-22). 

Other Nobel-related links about President Mandela:

Official Nobel Peace Prize profile

Nobel ceremony speech (video)

Speech transcript

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