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A group of American and South African students, aged from 11 to 19, met with Nelson Mandela at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg, on 2 June 2009. This is part of a series of activities ahead of Mandela Day on 18 July.

Source: Media24/Gallo Images / Getty

Today is officially Mandela Day in South Africa. But because the great leader was a world revolutionary, we are going to celebrate alongside our South African brothers and sisters. Here are some facts about the great leader you might not have known, along with some tweets around the world commemorating #MandelaDay.

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5 Facts About Nelson Mandela You Probably Don’t Know:

1. Whilst in prison, Mandela’s prison number was 46664. Why? Because he was the 466th prisoner in 1964. He world turn that number into something positive as it became the name of his HIV/AIDS awareness campaign.

2. Mandela’s favorite food was not something traditionally specifically South African but rather, tripe. Yes, you heard that. He loved sheep’s stomach. But it wasn’t just sheep but the stomach all farm animals.

3. Ronald Reagan (and Margret Thatcher) and many West government in general used to refer to Mandela as a terrorist. In fact, he wasn’t removed from the U.S. terrorist watch list until 2008.

4. Mandela received approximately 695 notable awards. ( Imagine the size of his trophy cabinet?!) Of course the most prominent of these was the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

5. His inauguration as the first Black (and legitimate) president of South Africa united the largest number of heads of states since JFK’s funeral.

Many took to Twitter to celebrate #MandelaDay with expressions of gratitude and fondness:

Thank you Madiba!


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#MandelaDay: 5 Facts About The Great Leader You Didn’t Know + The Best Tweets From Around The World  was originally published on