Nelson Mandela Dies at 95
Nelson Mandela, the South African anti-apartheid leader who spent 27 years in prison for sabotage, but eventually rose to become the nation’s first black president, passed away today at the age of 95. He had been hospitalized for several weeks with a lung infection. His life straddled the 20th and 21st centuries and he will be remembered as a critical figure in South Africa’s struggle for equality.
Sentenced to life in prison in 1964 for sabotage against the ruling white government, Mandela delivered a statement during his trial that reverberated around the world. “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people,” he said. “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
Nearly three decades later, at age 71, Mandela was released from prison. Four years later he ran for president and was elected. (Derek Dowell – VNN) (Image: Flickr.com | Franco Folini)