February 11 - 1990 - Nelson Mandela is Released From Prison
When Nelson Mandela left Victor Verster Prison, the only official thing that was happening was Mandela was out of prison after over a quarter of a century behind bars on treason charges resulting from the Rivonia Trial and a sabotage campaign. More significantly, though, it was the most clear sign that Apartheid in South Africa was ending. The President of South Africa, F.W. de Klerk had announced that the African National Congress, the most significant black political party, was newly re-legalized just a few days previously. Mandela would go on to work with de Klerk to end Apartheid, establish a new truly democratic government, and establish a "Rainbow Nation." Mandela would be the President, while de Klerk was his number two. All of this occurred because Nelson Mandela was released from jail, something only de Klerk could do while he was President of South Africa.