First International Nelson Mandela Day Celebrated

July 18, 2010 Updated: July 19, 2010

People around the world celebrated the 92nd birthday of iconic human rights champion, Nobel laureate, and former South African President Nelson Mandela, July 18.

Sunday marked the first official Nelson Mandela Day, a day for social action and celebration of Mandela’s values.

“Nelson Mandela is an international icon and a symbol of hope for oppressed and marginalized people around the world,” said the Nelson Mandela Day press release.

Last November, the U.N. passed a resolution making Mandela the first individual given an official day by the U.N.

Participants in Mandela Day are encouraged to participate in 67 minutes of volunteer activities, a minute for each year Mandela has spent fighting for human rights.

Madrid, official host city, has been preparing for months, including the release of the Oscar-nominated movie Invictus, directed by Clint Eastwood, in January. In June, they held a concert by B.B. King.

In South Africa, people including Mandela’s family, spent 67 minutes doing community service.