Mandela's 95th birthday honored at UN

Nelson Mandela
Posted at 4:49 PM, Jul 18, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-18 12:52:46-04

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations is celebrating an ailing Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday. Former President Bill Clinton, civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson and other dignitaries are honoring South Africa's first black president.

Clinton says Mandela's ability to forgive allowed him to leave prison after 27 years a greater man than when he went in.

Jackson says it was no accident that South Africa's apartheid regime crumbled during Mandela's long struggle. He called him "a giant among men."

On Nelson Mandela International Day, Jackson urged all to remember that Mandela was a freedom fighter whose determination never waned while he lived in a tiny prison cell.

He said Mandela inspired "millions of people on the continent and around the world who somehow believed midnight would not last forever. So we fought."