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The Inspiring Story of Nelson Mandela

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Nelson Mandela, Deputy President of the African National Congress of South Africa, addresses the Special Committee Against Apartheid in the General Assembly Hall. 22/Jun/1990. UN Photo/P Sudhakaran.

Today, July 18, is Nelson Mandela’s 93rd birthday and the second annual Nelson Mandela International Day.  This day was officially observed for the first time last year following the adoption of a resolution by the U.N. General Assembly on November 10, 2009.  The resolution acknowledged “Nelson Mandela’s contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world” and designated July 18 as Nelson Mandela International Day.

In honor of this day, Hanibal and I found a number of items in the Law Library’s collection, as well as the broader Library of Congress collections, that relate to Nelson Mandela, particularly his trial and the apartheid laws that he challenged.  Given that the objective of the day is  to “inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better, and in doing so build a global movement for good,” we hope that looking through some of these titles and other links in this post proves as inspirational to you as it does to us.

  • Nelson Mandela, 20 April 1964 [sound recording] (excerpts from Nelson Mandela’s last speech during the Rivonia Trial before he was sentenced to life imprisonment).
  • The Voice of Nelson Mandela [sound recording] (extracts from famous speeches – original recordings – including statements from the Rivonia trial and sentencing, his release from prison in 1990, Nobel Peace Prize acceptance in 1993, election victory, inauguration, and opening of Parliament in 1994, as well as statements at the U.N. and before the U.S. Congress, and upon the adoption of the new South African constitution in 1996).

The Library of Congress published a longer selective reading list about the life of Nelson Mandela in 1994 upon his visit to the Library.


  1. nelson mandela you are the king the goddess the father of all africa we love u so musch and god will bless u and bless your family.:-*

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