On this day in 1994, South African freedom fighter Nelson Mandela became the country’s first Black president. Mandela’s inauguration came two weeks after over 20 million South Africans voted in their first all-race elections. Mandela and his African National Congress party won by a landslide yet still opted to form a national unity coalition with the opposing party. Dignitaries and politicians from more than 140 countries attended the televised event as a billion viewers looked on from around the world.
Nelson Mandela was famously in prison for 27 years by the South African government. He retired from politics in 1999 and passed away in 2013 at 95 years old.
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