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During the building's initial years, prior to completion of the construction works, the square was unfit to contain large crowds, but once the works were completed in the summer of 1934, the square began to fulfill its purpose as the "National Square." Three basic facts facilitated this: (a) The building was perceived, from its conception, as the center of the Jewish Yishuv and the Zionist Movement; (b) The broad square could contain many people; (c) The balcony at the front of the building transformed the square below it into a sort of large amphitheater and the speeches given by the speakers during special gatherings could be heard well even before the days of amplifiers and loudspeakers.
The first prominent event took place on 20 Tamuz 5694 (July 3, 1934) on the thirtieth anniversary of the death of Dr. Theodor Herzl, the father of Zionism. Thousands gathered at a rally organized by the Jewish Agency and the Jewish National Council. A large portrait of Herzl was placed on the balcony and the flag that regularly flew over the building's roof was lowered to half-staff. Many in the crowd were members of the various youth movements – from "Hashomer Hatzair" to "Maccabi Hatzair" – each movement sporting its uniform. On the balcony stood the members of the Executives of the Jewish Agency and National Council and some of the "Yishuv elders," the pioneers that established the first colonies, the kibbutzim and moshavim, who were still alive at the time. Those gathered were greeted by Rabbi Moshe Ostrovsky on behalf of the Executive of the Jewish National Council and by David Ben-Gurion, a member of the Executive and then the Histadrut Secretary, on behalf of the Executive of the Jewish Agency. A cantor sang the "El Malei Rachamim" prayer. The rally ended with thousands singing "Hatikva," which was heard from a distance.
For the first time, the National Institutions Building was lit up with electrical lighting and on the KKL-JNF Wing appeared an electrical writing: "If you will it, it is no dream." Hundreds of the rally's participants used the opportunity to visit the "Herzl Room" in the KKL-JNF building. That same day, entire classrooms also arrived from schools in Jerusalem.
Central Rallies
Over the years, primarily before the establishment of the state, many thousands would congregate in courtyard of the National Institutions Building as well as in the nearby streets – to demonstrate the power of the Yishuv, protest the British rule as well as to celebrate joyous events such as the UN resolution of November 29, 1947.
A mass rally was held there after the issuing of "the White Paper" on May 17, 1939. "The White Paper" was an official policy document of the British Government concerning the future of the Land of Israel. The British had reneged on their promise to establish a Jewish National Home in the Land of Israel and imposed harsh restrictions on Jewish Aliya and the purchase of lands by Jews. They further announced that under their plan, a government of "all peoples of the land" would be established after ten years. Its meaning was clear: In the absence of Jewish Aliya, the Jewish Yishuv was expected to eternally remain a minority in an Arab-majority country. The Chairman of the Jewish Agency, David Ben-Gurion, called "the White Paper" – "the Violation Paper," referring

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