Israel was founded on May 14, 1948, by the head of the Jewish Agency, David Ben-Gurion. It was recognised by U.S. President Harry S. Truman on the same day and by the United Nations in the same month.Know More
Israel faced numerous hurdles throughout its early years as an independent state. On the same day it gained its independence, it was attacked by the armies of Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. However, these attacks were unorganized and were defeated by Israeli army, who were better coordinated.
The newly formed country also had internal problems with local terrorist organizations, many of which had fought on Israel's side during the war. However, these organizations were quickly disbanded by the new Prime Minister and Defense Minister, David Ben-Gurion. The leaders of the terrorist organizations were arrested and the remaining members joined the Israeli army.
The Israeli army swelled to over 100,000 in 1948. Its military victories allowed Israel to expand the initial territory granted to it by the United Nations. However, this was at the expense of the Arab populations who lived in these areas. This act increased tensions between Israel and the surrounding Arab nations, culminating in the 1956, 1967 and 1973 wars. In 2014, tensions once again reached a climax, with clashes between Palestinian militant group Hamas and the Israeli army.Learn more in Modern History
Nobel Prize winning astrophysicist Albert Einstein wasn't exactly poised to become the Israeli president, but Israel's first president, Chaim Weizmann, asked Einstein if he was interested in becoming the country's leader. Though flattered by the idea, Einstein denied any desire for the role.Full Answer >
Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa on May 9, 1994. Nelson Mandela was elected by South Africa's Parliament. He was the first black president to lead the country.Full Answer >
The Jamestowne Society was founded on May 14, 1936, for descendants of the stockholders of the Virginia Company of London. George Craghead Gregory founded the organization. The society's main aim was to serve the descendants of land owners in Jamestown or Jamestown Island before 1700.Full Answer >
Rhode Island was founded in 1636 and was granted statehood on May 29, 1790. Its founder, Roger Williams, had been previously banished from Massachusetts because of his views on the separation of church and state.Full Answer >