The first and most important book by Benjamin (Theodore) Ze'ev Herzl, “Der Judenstaat,” (German: "The Jewish State") was published on Feb 4, 1896 in Vienna, Austria and in Leipzig, Germany. The prophetic volume foretold the founding of an independent Jewish state in the 20th century.
The book served as the basis for the First Zionist Congress and sparked a strain of political Zionism that called for international and legal recognition of the rights of the Jewish people over the Land of Israel, prior to large-scale aliyah.
Herzl died eight years later, and in 1949 his remains were transferred to the nascent state: Video.
Sinking of the SS Struma:
On February 4th, 1942, more than 760 Jewish men, women, and children, Romanian refugees aboard the SS Struma, drowned when the craft was torpedoed by a submarine and sank in the Black Sea off the coast of Istanbul, Turkey.
After towing the craft, which had an inoperative engine, through the Straits of Bosphorus and setting the rickety vessel adrift 10 miles out, Turkish authorities refused all attempts by The Jewish Agency for Israel, including pleas by then diplomatic chief, Moshe Sharett, to allow vessel to dock at nearby ports.
One passenger, a 19 year old man, survived the attack – reputedly by a Soviet craft – on the vessel.
A video portraying the unveiling of the memorial to the victims of the SS Patria and the SS Struma. On February 4th, 1942, more than 760 Romanian Jewish men, women, and children fleeing Nazi Germany aboard the Struma, drowned when the craft was torpedoed by a Russian submarine and sank in the Black Sea off the coast of Istanbul, Turkey: Video.
The first Knesset session:
On Feb 14, 1949, 53 years after Benjamin Ze'ev Herzl's, “Der Judenstaat” was published, 120 members of the first Knesset parliament held a celebratory session at the National Institutions compound in Jerusalem
The first Knesset session meets: On Feb 14, 1949, 53 years after Benjamin Ze'ev Herzl's, “Der Judenstaat” was published, 120 members of the first Knesset parliament held a celebratory session at the National Institutions compound in Jerusalem, headquarters of The Jewish Agency for Israel: Video.
Dr. Chaim Weizmann, who presided over the inagaural session, was sworn in two days later as the first president of the State of Israel: Video.
First American Ambassador to Israel:
A television interview with James Grover McDonald, the first United States ambassador to Israel, shortly after his arrival in the newly-born state: Video.
Adloyada Purim parade in Tel Aviv:
In Feb 1912, composer Avraham Aldema founded the annual Purim Adloyada parade in Tel Aviv. The carnival soon became an annual event in the city and elsewhere throughout the country: Video.
Israel battered by Iraqi Scud missiles:
In January and February 1991, Israel was hit by 39 Scud missiles fired from Iraq during the first Gulf War. Some 3,300 apartments in greater Tel Aviv were affected, and about 1,500 area residents were relocated for the duration: Video.