Birthday – Nelson Mandela was born the son of a Tembu tribal chieftain on July 18, 1918, at Qunu, near Umtata, in South Africa. He became a lawyer, joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1944, eventually becoming deputy national president in 1952. In 1964, he was convicted for sabotage as a result of his participation in the struggle against apartheid. He spent the next 28 years in jail, but remained a symbol of hope to South Africa’s non-white majority. Released in 1990, he was elected was elected President of South Africa in 1994 in the first election in which all races participated.