March 29, 1961 - Mandela and all co-defendants are found not guilty of treason.
June 1961 - Mandela begins organizing the armed struggle against apartheid Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nations). He travels in Africa and Europe studying guerrilla warfare.
August 5, 1962 - Is arrested on charges of inciting workers to strike and leaving the country without valid travel documents. Mandela represents himself at trial.
November 7, 1962 - Is sentenced to prison, five years hard labor.
June 12, 1964 - Is sentenced to life in prison for four counts of sabotage. Convicted and sentenced with Mandela are Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada, Govan Mbeki, Denis Goldberg and others.
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.