In one of the most impressive rescue missions in history, Israel achieved what seemed impossible. In a day, as Jews around the world celebrated Shavuot, more than 14,000 Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to Israel, the country they had long hoped to see.
One of the most prominent female filmmakers working today, Nora Ephron's life has included a high-profile marriage and divorce, critical and popular acclaim and a close-up view of the Watergate investigation.
Twelve years later, two of Israel's longest-serving statesmen are still at it, with Binyamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister and Ehud Barak his coalition partner and Defence Minister, now of the new Independence Party.
Two days after David Ben Gurion declared Israel's independence and the surrounding Arab armies attacked, the fledgling state voted in its first president. He would not be officially sworn in until the following February
Almost a year after David Ben Gurion declared independence for the Jewish state; Israel was welcomed into the global club.
With something of a fraught relationship between the two since, it was nonetheless a positive step. Twelve countries voyted against welcoming the 59th members, including Afghanistan, India and Iraq, while nine, among them Britain, Denmark and Greece, abstained.
After a decades-long struggle, Nelson Mandela's Africa National Congress party won a majority in South Africa's first multi-racial elections.
A fortnight later, the prominent activist and former political prisoner was sworn in as the country's first black president, an unbelievable occasion in a country that had only recently thrown off apartheid rule.