warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Nelson Mandela At 95: Millions Honor His Legacy

Colin Hale |
July 18, 2013 | 12:41 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

As former South African president Nelson Mandela's health gradually improves in a Pretoria hospital, millions of people in South Africa and around the world honored the anti-apartheid and reconciliation figure on his 95th birthday on Thursday.

Crowds gathered outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital, where Mandela is receiving care, and sang, danced, and blew vuvuzela horns to honor who many in South Africa call the "father of the country."

South African President Jacob Zuma is marking Mandela's birthday by participating in the donation of houses to poor families in Pretoria. US President Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama, who visited the Robben Island prison where Mandela spent nearly 20 years last month, said in a statement released by the White House that "people everywhere have the opportunity to honor Madiba through individual and collective acts of service."

"Through our own lives, by heeding his example, we can honor the man who showed his own people - and the world - the path to justice, equality, and freedom."

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that Mandela is "a model of humility, grace and forgiveness, whose life and teachings are an inspiratioon for all those who strive for freedom, democracy, and reconciliation." Celebrations are expected throughout the United States and Canada to honor Mandela.

The United Nations declared July 18th as "Nelson Mandela International Day," and have encouraged people to find ways to honor his ideals.  Several charities throughout South Africa have asked people to volunteer 67 minutes to charity to match the 67 years that Mandela dedicated to his community.

Mandela has been recovering from a recurring lung infection that put him in the hospital on June 8.  Mandela's granddaughter said he was "steadily improving" and could now smile and nod to visitors.

Reach Executive Producer Colin Hale here. Follow him on Twitter.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.