Nelson Mandela International Day History
Nelson Mandela Day seeks to celebrate the political and social achievements of former South African President Nelson Mandela. Mandela, who spent three decades in prison for his political activism, became the first black president of the Republic of South Africa in 1994. His presidency ended the long-standing apartheid in which whites ruled over blacks and saw the birth of democracy and equality among all citizens. He was also active in combatting poverty, encouraging land reform, expanding health services, supporting education and setting an example of peace, anti-racism and human rights adherence for other nations.
Nelson Mandela International Day was designated by the United Nations and the Nelson Mandela Foundation in 2009. It is celebrated on Mandela's birthday, July 18th, in an effort to recognize the impact of Mandela's values and his contribution to humanity. Mandela passed away in December of 2013 at the age of 95.
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