Let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived — a man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice.
On Nelson Mandela’s birthday, here’s a photo of the former South African President boarding Marine One. Mandela was on his way to meet with President Clinton at the White House.
This photo was taken on October 4, 1994, six months after Mandela became the first democratically elected President of South Africa. Only four years earlier in 1990, Mandela had been released from serving 27 years in prison under the apartheid government.
Former US President Bill Clinton meets with former South African President Nelson Mandela at his home in Qunu, South Africa, Tuesday, July 17, 2012 on the eve of Mandela’s 94th birthday.
Two diplomatic icons who defined the ’90s better than any others.
May 10, 1994: Nelson Mandela Becomes President of South Africa
On this day in 1994, Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s first black president. Mandela had spent 27 years imprisoned for working in the anti-apartheid movement.
FRONTLINE’s “The Long Walk of Nelson Mandela” site takes an inside look at his childhood, revolutionary years, imprisonment, and personal life.
The journey of one of the world’s great elder statesmen.
Image description: In June 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama met with Nelson Mandela, the former President of South Africa, at Mandela’s home in Houghton, South Africa.
The photo is part of Pete Souza’s picks for the year 2011 in images. Pete Souza is the Chief Official White House Photographer and Director of the White House Photography Office. View all of his 2011 photo selections.
Photo by Samantha Appleton, White House
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate Nelson Mandela and join the world in celebrating his 93rd birthday this Sunday. I am honored and humbled to call President Mandela my friend. Like millions of his admirers around the world, I am deeply moved by his generosity of spirit and unfailing courage in the face of overwhelming obstacles. After 26 years locked in an apartheid prison, he emerged to lead South Africa’s transition from the division of apartheid to an integrated, multi-racial democracy. He embraced his jailers without bitterness or hatred and provided an example to his own people and people everywhere.