DC holds celebration for Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday at the U - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

DC holds celebration for Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday at the US Capitol

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On Thursday, people in DC celebrated Nelson Mandela's life and 95th birthday at the US Capitol Visitor Center's Emancipation Hall. 

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), who was a part of a visit to the South African Embassy back in 1984 that led to protests and sanctions against South Africa, spoken on his life.  She read a farewell address given by Mandela in 1998.

Other speakers for the celebration included various members of the House and Senate leaderships, various members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and others from both Houses of Congress.  Also speaking was the South African Ambassador to the United States Ebrahim Rasool.

Norton says she never dreamed that her first visit to the South African Embassy would have had the impact it did on the events that followed in South Africa

"We did not foresee the protests that produced serial arrests for months, the federal South African sanctions bill that followed, and, ultimately, the release of Mandela. Perhaps least of all did I expect to be celebrating Mandela’s 95th birthday here in the Congress. His birthday is a celebration not only of a great man’s life, but of his unique influence for peaceful reconciliation and governance,” said Norton .

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