Israel’s 70th birthday
“Miracles sometimes occur, but one has to work terribly hard for them,” —Dr. Chaim Weizmann, Israel’s first President and Founder, Weizmann Institute
Seventy years ago this week, the State of Israel declared its independence. One of the first acts of Israel’s provisional government was to appoint its first President, which it did 10 months later: Dr. Chaim Weizmann, who went on to found the Weizmann Institute of Science in 1949. After his swearing-in ceremony at the Knesset on February 17, 1949, he and his wife Vera drove to their home on the Weizmann Institute campus in Rehovot, where they were welcomed by Institute scientists, as depicted in this image.
Among his many memorable quotes about Israel’s need for independence was this: “Independence is never given to a people, it has to be earned; and once earned, must be defended,” Dr. Weizmann said.
Clockwise: President Harry Truman and Dr. Chaim Weizmann, Washington DC, May 25, 1948; Chaim and Vera Weizmann welcomed at the Tel Aviv Municipality in October 1948; Chaim Weizmann sworn in as the first President of Israel at the Knesset, February 17, 1949.