Dozens Gather in Berkeley for International Mandela Day

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    NBC Bay Area
    Congresswoman Barbara Lee organized the event in honor of Nelson Mandela at Berkeley's Black Repertory Theater.

    Nelson Mandela turned 95 years old Thursday and dozens of people gathered in Berkeley today to celebrate International Mandela Day.

    Congresswoman Barbara Lee was the main organizer of the event at Berkeley's Black Repertory Theater. The Nelson Mandela Foundation first launched Mandela Day in 2008 when he turned 90.

    That is also the same year his African National Congress Party was finally removed from the list of terrorist organizations.

    On Sunday, Lee recalled that story, among others, and wished him a very happy birthday.

    "You will be a beacon of hope for each generation seeking a more just and prosperous world," Lee said. "We pray for your recovery. We wish you and your family and the people of South Africa a glorious future."

    Mandela has been hospitalized for weeks for a lung infection. Officials in South Africa said this past week that his condition is starting to improve.


    MORE: Much to celebrate as Mandela turns 95, health improves