Nelson Mandela Timeline

By: Demetrius Morton

On July 18, 1918, a phenomenal man by the name of Rolihlahla Mandela was born in Mvezo, South Africa. Mvezo was a small village the Nelson basically spent his whole childhood living in. Mandela's parents named him Rolihlahla because it means "troublemaker" in Xhosa language. At the age of seven, Rolihlahla's teacher told him that his name would be Nelson.

In 1938, Nelson went to the University of Fort Hare. In 1940, he was expelled for leading a protest. In 1938, Nelson married Evelyn Ntoko Mase. The couple had four children but got divorced in 1958.

In 1944, the National Party took control of South Africa and set out to construct apartheid. Apartheid was a system of strict racial segregation and white domination. In 1948, Nelson and Oliver Tambo opened South Africa's first black law practice. Mr. Mandela was arrested at his home and charged with treason, along with 155 others.

During Mandela's trial on the treason charges, he married Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela. Nelson and Nomzamo had two daughters. On March 29, 1961, Nelson and his co-defendants were acquitted of treason. Mr. Mandela was afraid of being arrested again and as a result, he went underground. When Nelson returned from underground to South Africa, he was arrested again for leaving the country illegally. Mandela had been underground for 17 months.

Nelson Mandela and seven others were sentenced to life in prison. They were sent to Robben Island Prison. On March 28, 1982, Nelson and four others were transferred from Robben Island to Pollsmoor Prison. On November 28, 1985, Nelson was in a hospital for enlarged prostate surgery. On December 7, 1988, Mandela was transferred to another prison by the name of Victor Verster Prison Farm.

On July 5, 1989, Mr. Mandela informally met with Mr. Botha, which at the time was the South African president. They met at the presidential office in Cape Town. On February 2, 1990, Mr. de Klerk promised that Nelson Mandela would be released from prison shortly. On February 11, 1990, Mandela was freed from prison. He was 71 years old and was in prison for 27 years. On April 13, 1992, Nelson announced that him and his wife were separating. On October 15, 1993, Nelson Mandela and Mr. De Klerk were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. On May 10, 1994, Nelson was sworn in as president of South Africa. On his 80th birthday, Nelson married Graca Machel. In December of 2013, Nelson died at the age of 95.

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