On this day in 1948, the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel was solemnly proclaimed in a museum in Tel Aviv, where a portrait of Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, hung on the wall. It was made by David Ben-Gurion, leader of the World Zionist Organization.
The Declaration was signed by 37 Zionists, among them the later Prime Minister Golda Meir and Jewish communist Meir Vilner. The United States recognized Israel just 11 minutes after the Declaration of Independence entered into force. The recognitions by Iran (Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi), Guatemala, Iceland, Nicaragua, Romania, Uruguay, and then the Soviet Union, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia followed.
When drawing up the Declaration of Independence, the Zionists had to decide on the name for the new state. Zion, Judea, Herzliya (by Herzl), Zion, Ivriya etc., were proposed, but in the end the proposal of David Ben-Gurion to take the name of Israel, which is mentioned as the Promised Land in the Old Testament, was accepted. The very next day after the announcement of independence, the surrounding Arab states invaded the territory of Israel.