On this day in 1960 the police killed 69 people at Sharpeville. It was the period of the Apartheid and the common people had raised their voices in opposition to the pass laws. Many people were shot in the back. The carnage made world headlines. Four days later the government banned black political organizations, and many leaders were arrested or escaped into exile. During the Apartheid era there were human rights abuses by all sides. When African National Congress succeeded to power with Nelson Mandela as their leader, the 21st of March was instituted as the South Africa Human Rights Day and included in the list of National Holidays of South Africa. We celebrate this day each year to remind us of the great suffering and loss of life that accompanied the struggle for human rights. It is to remind us that people in South Africa will never again be denied their human rights. We hope today we all will think about the privilege it is to have our rights recognized, and to keep in mind those who don't have the same rights. It's a day of gratitude and remembrance. So we want to wish all the people of South Africa a blessed Human Rights Day! Find out more about African holidays by visiting our Holiday Page!