August 1897 Theodor Herzl !

“The most quoted entry in Herzl’s diaries is undoubtedly the sentence in which he tries to sum up his assessment of the first Zionist Congress, convoked at his invitation in Basel in August 1897:

“Were I to sum up the Basel Congress in one word—which I shall guard against pronouncing publicly—it would be this: at Basel I have found the Jewish state.  If I said this out loud today, I would be answered by universal laughter.  Perhaps in five years and certainly in fifty everyone would recognize this.”

Source: Diaries of Theodore Herzl, Central Zionist Archive