The world is remem­bering former South African Pres­i­dent Nelson Man­dela, whodied Thursday at the age of 95. Bosto­nians are par­tic­u­larly remem­bering his visit here, soon after he was released from prison.

When Man­dela vis­ited, Mar­garet Burnham was a Boston-​​based leader in the Free South Africa/​Free Man­dela move­ment. She recounts that day: June 23, 1990.

It was elec­tric,” Burnham said. “Everyone felt it was his­toric. We were living that his­tory at that moment. We were sharing space with one of the world’s greatest statesmen and peace­makers, per­haps one of the most unique leaders, cer­tainly in the 20th cen­tury. And here he was, he was in our midst. He was both extra­or­di­nary and ordi­nary at the same time.”

It was just one day in Boston. And the stops were brief. But the images were enduring, says Burnham, who was the first African-​​American woman appointed a judge in Mass­a­chu­setts and is now a law pro­fessor at North­eastern University.

He was all that we thought he would be when he left prison,” she said. “He was full of humanity and grace and wisdom and peace — and as well a very prac­tical politician.”

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