Nelson Mandela Day: Former President of South Africa Turns 95

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Nelson Mandela turns 95 years old Thursday, a milestone that's being met with gleeful celebrations throughout South Africa and around the world.

The scene outside the hospital where Mandela is being treated has been joyous, as children with balloons and flowers in front of giant get well cards.

Nelson Mandela Picture

Nelson Mandela's birthday, July 18, has become a global holiday, known as International Mandela Day, to honor the former president's legacy.

The anti-apartheid activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner encourages people to volunteer, do community service and offer acts of kindness, great and small.

Mandela Day events were in full swing all across South Africa Thursday, with adults and children chipping in on beautification projects and feeding the hungry.

Participants are asked to start with 67 minutes of their time of volunteering to honor Mandela's 67 years of service to his nation and the world.

Morgan Freeman, who portrayed Mandela in 2009's Invictus, said, "We encourage everyone around the world to pledge 67 minutes. Join us to honor this great man."

One of great social and humanitarian figures of the 20th century, he has been critically ill in recent weeks but is said to have been improving in recent days.

Happy birthday to a man who is truly peerless!

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