Nelson Mandela leader of the movement to end South African apartheid, is released from prison after 27 years on February 11, 1990.
In 1961, he was arrested for treason, and although acquitted he was arrested again in 1962 for illegally leaving the country.
Convicted and sentenced to five years at Robben Island Prison, he was put on trial again in 1964 on charges of sabotage.
In June 1964, he was convicted along with several other ANC leaders and sentenced to life in prison.
7 things only Mandela did in prison when no other leaders did:
- Confined to a small cell without a bed or plumbing, he was forced to do hard labour in a quarry
- Mandela was imprisoned in a damp concrete cell measuring 8 feet (2.4 m) by 7 feet (2.1 m), with a straw mat on which to sleep
- He could write and receive a letter once every six months, and once a year he was allowed to meet with a visitor for 30 minutes
- Mandela was initially forbidden to wear sunglasses, and the glare from the lime permanently damaged his eyesight.
- At night, he worked on his LLB degree which he obtained from the University of London through a correspondence course with Wolsey Hall, Oxford, but newspapers were forbidden.
- Nelson Mandela was locked in solitary confinement on several occasions for the possession of smuggled news clippings.
- He was awarded an honorary doctorate in Lesotho, the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding in India in 1979
Mandela was the only man who led a revolution even being chained. Today was the day he was released from the prison on 1990.