Mandela’s Birthday Celebrated

    South African schoolchildren sing happy birthday to former South African President Nelson Mandela as he turned 94 on July 18, 2012, at Batsogile Primary School in Soweto. The nation's 12 million schoolchildren began their day with a special birthday song, ringing with the line: "We love you father". For the fourth year, at the request of his charitable foundation, July 18 is observed as Mandela Day, recognised by the United Nations as a global call to volunteer for good causes for 67 minutes -- representing each year of Mandela's life in active politics.         AFP PHOTO / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN        (Photo credit should read STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/GettyImages)

    Stephanie De Sakutin, AFP / Getty Images

    It’s Nelson Mandela’s birthday and in honor of the iconic former president, South Africans nation-wide are celebrating by doing good deeds. Citizens specifically performed public service for 67 minutes—one for every year of Mandela’s life dedicated to helping others in his country. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Daughter Chelsea visited Mandela in his home village for the celebration, planting a tree in honor of his “wonderful friend.” Mandela’s and Clinton’s  respective terms as president overlapped. “He didn’t call me a single time, not once, when he didn’t’ ask about Hillary and Chelsea,” Clinton said. “If it wasn’t too late, he’d ask me to go get Chelsea, bring her to the phone, ask about her homework.” South Africans celebrated in many other ways in addition to community service. For example, millions of students across the country sang “Happy Birthday” before beginning classes for the day.

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