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By Ailin He

July 18 Rolihlahla Mandela is born in Transkei, South Arica. His father was Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa and his mother Nosekeni Fanny.

Nelson Rolihlahla's father dies. He is looked after by Jongintaba Dalindyebo the acting chief of the Thembu tribe. Started to attend school. It was at school where teacher gave him name Nelson.

Attends Wesleyan College then studies for Bachelor of Arts at Fort Hare University. Met his life-long friend Oliver Tambo.

Nelson becomes involved in a riot against the Universities policies and is expelled. Nelson and Justice escape arranged marriages and run to Johannesburg. While he completes his BA, studies Law at the University of Witwatersrand

Nelson Mandela becomes a member of the African National Congress (ANC).

Along with Oliver Tambo, forms the Youth League of the ANC Nelson Mandela marries Evelyn Mase. They go on to have 4 children one of whom dies as an infant.

Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo open the first black legal firm in South Africa. Nelson Mandela is actively involved in the ANC's defiance campaign.

Freedom Charter calling for equal rights is adopted at the Congress of the people.

On Dec 5 Mandela and 155 other political activists are charged with treason.

Mandela's first marriage ends

Nelson Mandela marries Winnie. They go on to have 2 children

New laws passed separating homelands for black groups and increasing racial segregation. Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) is formed and the ANC loses many members and financial support to the group.

At the Sharpeville Massacre 69 black South Africans are shot by police at a peaceful protest and over 150 are wounded. The ANC is banned and Mandela forms 'The Spear of the Nation' (military group)

Aug 5, Mandela is arrested and imprisoned in the Johannesburg Fort. sentenced to 5 years in prison but goes on the run

Nelson is recaptured, tried for treason and sabotage and is sentenced to life imprisonment. 46 years old and goes to Robben Island prison where he spends the next 18 years of his imprisonment, before being released.

Mandela loses his eldest son in a car crash and his mother also dies. He is not permitted to attend their funerals

Letter from Nelson Mandela

Protests lead by Steve Biko result in the death of over 600. Biko is killed while in police custody.

Oliver Tambo launches an international campaign to have Mandela released.

After 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela is freed on the 11 February. The event was broadcast live all around the world.

Nelson Mandela becomes president of the ANC.

Winnie Mandela is convicted of kidnapping. She and Nelson separate.

Nelson Mandela and Frederik Willem de Klerk are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Nelson and Winnie divorce

April 26 first elections where blacks can vote. The ANC wins the election Nelson Mandela is the first black president of South Africa

July 18 Nelson Mandela marries Graca Machel on his 80th birthday.

Nelson Mandela is treated for prostate cancer.

Supports 46664 AIDS fund raising campaign. (named after his prison number)

At 85 Mandela announces retirement from official life. Granted the honour of the freedom of the city of Johannesburg.

Jan 6 Mandela's son Makgatho dies of AIDS.

The United Nations General Assembly declares July 18 'Mandela Day' as a tribute to his contribution to world freedom.

Mar 9- Nelson Mandela is admitted to hospital in Pretoria for a scheduled medical check up.