The Buzz

10 Big Historical Anniversaries Coming in 2015

Anniversaries are how we mark the passage time of time, celebrate our triumphs, and honor our losses. Two thousand and fourteen witnessed several significant historical anniversaries: the centennial of the start of World War I, the bicentennial of the British sack of Washington, DC, and the twenty-fifth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, to name a few. Two thousand and fifteen will also see anniversaries of many significant events in world history. Here are ten of note:

Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s Release from Prison, February 11, 1990:

Nelson Mandela’s journey to becoming the first black president of South Africa was a long one. Trained as a lawyer, he became a prominent anti-apartheid activist in the 1950s as a member of the African National Congress (ANC) and a founder of the ANC Youth League. When Pretoria banned the ANC in 1960, Mandela turned to armed resistance. In 1962, he was arrested and convicted of plotting to overthrow the government. He was sent to Robben Island prison, where he was forced to work at hard labor in a limestone quarry and allowed to receive one visitor and one letter every six months. Despite his imprisonment, Mandela’s fame as a symbol of the anti-apartheid struggle grew. After twenty-seven years behind bars, eighteen of which he spent at Robben Island, Mandela was finally released on February 11, 1990 by the new government of Frederik Willem de Klerk. Mandela then worked with De Klerk to dismantle the apartheid system. The two men were awarded the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize for their work. In 1994, South Africans elected Mandela president. He died in 2013, leaving behind a legacy that few others can match.

Fiftieth Anniversary of the Arrival of the First U.S. Combat Troops in South Vietnam, March 8, 1965.