Part of a state road will now honor Nelson Mandela. A 3½-mile stretch of Illinois Route 50 in Chicago is now designated as Mandela Road. Gov. Pat Quinn hopes it will serve as a reminder of the impact Mandela had on civil rights around the world.
“Whether we live in the United States of America or South Africa or any other country, we’re grateful to God for sending us a man who helped free not only his people, but all of us,” Quinn said.
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The designation comes on what would have been Mandela’s 96th birthday.
Mandela spent 27 years in prison for opposing racial discrimination in South Africa. He visited Chicago in 1993, a year before he became South Africa’s first black president. He died in December at the age of 95.
The name is honorary; addresses along the road are still officially on Cicero Avenue.
Serving the areas of Alton, Godfrey, East Alton, Wood River, Roxana, Edwardsville, Jerseyville, Brighton, Bethalto, Grafton, Granite City, Hartford, Highland, Troy, Fairview Heights, Belleville and the surrounding cities.