FROM THE AN5 VAULT: Nelson Mandela visits Memphis, inspires kids - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

FROM THE AN5 VAULT: Nelson Mandela visits Memphis, inspires kids

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(WMC-TV) - It was standing room only when Nelson Mandela arrived in Memphis to speak in November 2000.

The leading figure in the struggle to end apartheid spoke at the Temple of Deliverance Church of God downtown.

Mandela touched on a number of topics in his short speech, challenging the world to set an example for young people.

Many of those in attendance were children and to them, the event was an opportunity of a lifetime.

"I enjoyed listening to him talk," said 6th grader Megan Murphy.

The kids listened intently, hanging onto every word from South Africa's most famous Civil Rights leader.

"He is a leader just like Dr. Martin Luther King," added 5th grader Catrina Dean.

In the weeks leading up to Mandela's appearance, the students collected money and books for his program to help the less fortunate in South Africa.

When the kids went up to the stage to present Mandela with a $100,000 check, the Civil Rights leader shook hands with each one of them.

"It was a great experience," said 11th grader Ralpahel Johnson. "I should his hand, it was mesmerizing."

Mandela's struggles and courage in the face of adversity have touched these kids' young hearts and inspired them to feel that freedom is something worth standing up for.

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