Several minutes before 4 p.m., the car stopped in front of the Dizengoff house on Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard. A tired and worried David Ben-Gurion got out of the car and made his way through the crowd that had assembled, despite the fact that participants in the event inside had been asked to keep it secret. He took a quick glance at the motley hodgepodge of chairs that had been gathered quickly from caf s in the area, the specially ordered rugs and the flags decorating every corner. Then he took the new state's Declaration of Independence from his pocket and began to read. Thus, the State of Israel was established in Tel Aviv. The first Hebrew city served as the capital of Israel for the first two years of the state. Both government and the Knesset sat there until Jerusalem was officially declared Israel's capital in 1950. In honor of Independence Day, Explore Tel Aviv is dedicating the month of May "To the Homeland" with three special tours, in Hebrew, focusing on the events of 1948: On Independence Day, a tour of Tel Aviv port focusing on illegal immigration will meet at 10 a.m. at the Coliseum steps in Kikar Atarim. The tour will end at the Europa tower that served as the first Knesset building. Price NIS 30. On Friday May 12, a tour focusing on the liberation of Menashia, Neveh Zedek and Neveh Shalom will depart from the Eden Cinema, 2 Rehov Lillienblum, at 10 p.m. Price NIS 30 + NIS 10 for admission to the Etzel Museum. On Saturday May 27, a military history tour will depart from Hanegba junction (between Ashkelon and Kastina junctions) at 10 a.m. and follow the footsteps of the forces that fought at Ivdis, Beit Afa and Kibbutz Negba. NIS 25/person + NIS 10 for a film at Kibbutz Negba. For advance registration for all three tours, please call 03-5177304 or 03-5100337.