This Day in Black History: Aug. 5, 1962

Nelson Mandela is arrested for inciting a workers' strike.

Posted: 08/05/2014 12:00 AM EDT

Nelson Mandela had a few run-ins with the South African authorities before becoming the country’s first Black president.

On Aug. 5, 1962, Mandela was arrested for allegedly “inciting workers to strike and leave the country without valid travel documents.”

Prior to his arrest, Mandela, who was given the name “Nelson” by a former teacher, graduated from the University of South Africa with a degree in law. He also became president of the African National Congress and was among 156 leaders arrested for high treason.

Mandela represented himself during trial.

On Nov. 7, 1962, Mandela was sentenced to five years of hard labor, and two years later, he was sentenced to life in prison for sabotage. 

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 (Photo: Three Lions/Getty Images)

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