— -- Today marks the anniversary of Nelson Mandela's inauguration as South Africa's first democratically-elected president in 1994. Mandela stepped down from office in 1999 after one term.
Mandela spent his life fighting to end apartheid in South Africa. In 1962, when Mandela was leader of the African National Congress, he was captured by the South African government and tried for sabotage and treason in what has become known as the Rivonia Trial. When facing the death penalty on April 20, 1964, Mandela famously said:
"I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."
Mandela was released from prison on Sunday, Feb. 11, 1990. He voted for the first time in his life on April 27, 1994, and went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
He inspired social change through his words. Some of his other famous quotes include:
“A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.”
“It is in your hands, to make a better world for all who live in it.”
"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."
Watch the video above to see more inspirational thoughts from Nelson Mandela.