Nelson Mandela Timeline

Shannon Fogarty Bailey Dec. 9, 2013

1918

Rolihlahla Mandela was born on July 18 in a little village named Mveso in Transkei, South Africa.

1927

Mandela's father died of lung disease. Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo adopted him.

1939

Mandela went to the University College of Fort Hare, the only residential center of higher learning for blacks in South Africa at the time, and focused on Roman Dutch law to prepare for a career in civil service.

1940-41

After Mandela gets expelled from school because of misunderstandings with the university, he goes home to find that his adopted father arranged a marriage for him, and Mandela runs away from home. Mandela settled in Johannesburg, and worked many jobs while completing his bachelor's degree.

1942

Mandela joined the African National Congress, directing peaceful acts of defiance against the South African government and its racist policies.

1944

Married Evelyn Ntoko Mase, and had four children together:Madiba Thembekile, Makgatho, Makaziwe and Maki.

1956

Mandela and 150 other were arrested and charged with treason for their political advocacy, but then were acquitted.

1957

Mandela and his wife separated.

1958

Mandela married Winnie Madikizela and they had two daughters together, Zenani and Zindziswa.

1961

Mandela orchestrated a 3-day national workers' strike, and was arrested for leading the strike the following year and went to prison for five years.

1963

Mandela was brought to trial again, this time being sentenced to life imprisonment, along with 10 other ANC leaders, for political offenses.

1985

President P. W. Botha offered Mandela's release for renouncing armed struggle, but he refused.

1990

Botha suffered a stroke, and was replaced by Frederik Willem de Klerk, who released Mandela on February 11. De Klerk also unbanned the ANC and removed restrictions on political groups.

1991

Mandela was elected president of the African National Congress, and continued to negotiate with President De Klerk toward the first multiracial election.

1993

Mandela and De Klerk were both awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work against racial segregation.

1994

South Africa held its first democratic elections on April 27. Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as the country's 1st black president on May 10, with De Klerk as his first deputy. Mandela published the autobiography Long Walk to Freedom, most of it being secretly written in prison.

1995

Mandela was awarded the Order of Merit.

1996

Mandela passed a law that established a strong central government based on majority rule, and ensured both the rights of minorities and the freedom of expression. Mandela and his wife become separated.

1998

Mandela marries Graca Machel.

1999

Mandela retired from active politics. He continued to do good, however, raising money to build schools and clinics in South Africa's rural heartland, and serving as a mediator in Burundi's civil war. He also published several books on his life, among them No Easy Walk to Freedom; Nelson Mandela: The Struggle is my Life; and Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales.

2001

Mandela was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer.

2004

He announced his formal retirement and returned to his native village of Qunu.

2005

Makgatho, Mandela's son, died of AIDS.

2007

Mandela convened a group of world leaders, including Graca Machel,Desmond Tutu, Kofi Annan, Ela Bhatt, Gro Harlem Brundtland,Jimmy Carter, Li Zhaoxing, Mary Robinson and Muhammad Yunus, to address some of the world's toughest issues.

2010

Mandela made his last public appearance at the final match of the World Cup in South Africa.

2011

Mandela suffered a lung infection.

2012

Mandela was briefly hospitalized in Johannesburg to undergo surgery for a stomach ailment in early 2012. He was hospitalized again in December for further testing and medical treatment.

2013

In March and June Mandela was hospitalized again for more testing and treatment. On December 5, Nelson Mandela died in Johannesburg, South Africa at the age of 95.

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