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This Day in History is DUE’s daily dose of trivia for all the history buffs out there. So sit back and take a ride of all the fascinating things that happened on 14th May!

People are trapped in history and history is trapped in people, and hence, every day has been a significant one in the foibles of history. Now, let’s take a tour of “This Day in History – 14th May”.

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1796: Edward Jenner administers the first vaccination against smallpox

Edward Jenner was an English country doctor from Gloucestershire, England. When he was still a medical student, he developed the world’s first vaccine which was to prevent smallpox. On May 14, 1796, he administered the smallpox vaccine for the first time to James Phipps, an eight-year-old boy. The vaccine helped save millions of lives worldwide and also led way to the development of vaccines for other diseases like polio, measles, tetanus, etc.

Edward Jenner
Edward Jenner administering the first smallpox vaccination in 1796. Painting by Ernst Board.

1948: Declaration of Israel’s statehood

On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion, the Head of the World Zionist Organization, and Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine proclaimed the establishment of the Jewish State of Israel. As the British withdrew their mandate in Palestine, fight broke out between Jews and Arabs immediately. Egypt launched an air assault against Israel the same evening. Despite this, the Jews joyously celebrated the birth of their new nation, especially after the president of the United States, Harry Truman, acknowledged the Jewish state. The event gave rise to the first Arab-Israeli war.

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Ceremony of the Declaration of the State of Israel: David Ben-Gurion reading the Proclamation of Israel’s Statehood, Tel Aviv Museum, May 14, 1948′ (Robert Capa)

1973: Skylab is launched

Skylab was America’s first space station and first crewed research laboratory in space. On May 14, 1973, the Saturn V rocket lifted the Skylab space station into orbit from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center. Skylab contained scientific equipment to conduct research in a variety of disciplines. Astronauts aboard it conducted a total of 270 experiments in biomedical and life sciences, Earth observations, solar astronomy, and materials processing.

Skylab space station
Launch of the Skylab space station (source: NASA)

1984: Mark Zuckerberg is born

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is an American computer programmer who is the co-founder and CEO of the popular social networking site, Facebook. He was born on this day in 1984 in white plains, New York. Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his dormitory room at Harvard University on February 4th, 2004, with college roommates. The site expanded rapidly, reaching one billion users by 2012. In 2007, at the age of 23, he became the world’s youngest self-made billionaire.

Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg
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