1980 - The Johannesburg Sunday Post leads a campaign to free Mandela. A petition demanding his and other ANC prisoners' release is printed in the newspaper.
1982- Is transferred to Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison after 18 years on Robben Island.
1988 - Is transferred to Victor Verster Prison.
July 5, 1989 - Meets with President P.W. Botha.
August 15, 1989 - Botha resigns as president and head of the National Party. F.W. de Klerk replaces him and begins dismantling apartheid.
December 13, 1989 - Mandela and de Klerk meet for the first time.
February 11, 1990 - Mandela is released from prison after more than 27 years.
1990 - Embarks on a world tour, visiting Margaret Thatcher, the US Congress, and President George H.W. Bush.
July 1991 - Mandela is elected president of the ANC.
1993 - Mandela and de Klerk share the Nobel Peace Prize.
April 29, 1994 - Elected the first black president of the Republic of South Africa in the first open election in the country's history.
May 10, 1994 - Mandela is inaugurated.
June 1999 - Mandela leaves office.
1999 - Establishes the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
January 19, 2000 - Addresses the United Nations Security Council, appealing for help in ending the brutal civil war between ethnic Hutus and Tutsis in Burundi.
July 25, 2001 - Announces that he has prostate cancer and is undergoing treatment.
January 31, 2003 - Mandela criticizes President Bush's stance on Iraq, saying he has no foresight and can't think properly.
November 29, 2003 - Aids awareness event, the 46664 Concert (Mandela's prison number) at Green Point stadium in Cape Town. The event draws 30,000+ fans with performances by Beyonce, Peter Gabriel, Bono, Bob Geldof and many more; and speeches by Mandela and Geldof.
December 1, 2003 - Mandela participates in the signing of the Geneva Accords for peace in the Middle East.
January 7, 2005 - Announces that his son, Makgatho, has died of AIDS and that the disease should be given publicity so that people will stop viewing it as extraordinary.
March 21, 2005 - Hosts the "46664 concert" in George, South Africa, to promote AIDS awareness.
August 29, 2007 - A bronze statue of Mandela is unveiled in Parliament Square in London.
June 27, 2008 - A London concert is held at Hyde Park in honor of Mandela's 90th birthday (on July 18) with all proceeds going to an AIDS charity. It is estimated that about 40,000 tickets were sold.
July 18, 2009 - The Nelson Mandela Foundation creates Mandela Day to be held every year on his birthday. The purpose of the day is to bring awareness to community service.
November 11, 2009 - The United Nations declares July 18th Nelson Mandela International Day.