Davar was the official journal of the Histadrut (federation of labor), and the most important newspaper of the Zionist labor movement. It was founded in 1925 by Berl Katznelson—intellectual, labor leader, and one of the central ideologues of the Eretz-Yisrael labor movement. Katznelson envisioned Davar as an "informative and educational" newspaper which aspired "to quench the worker's thirst for knowledge and thought," and which, from a political standpoint, "would not be dependent on any institution or bound to any party." A short time after it first appeared, the newspaper's circulation reached 4,500 copies, thus exceeding the combined circulation of its competitors at the time – Ha'aretz and Do'ar HaYom; in 1939 Davar's circulation reached 15,000 copies. During the British Mandate it was considered the official publication of the Yishuv (Jewish settlement in Palestine) institutions, and played a central role in molding Jewish public opinion in Eretz-Yisrael. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, Davar was primarily identified with the ruling party (Mapai) and served as a platform for essays by the party's leaders; indeed the party's glory days in the early years of the state also saw Davar's peak circulation. Two of the publication's former editors filled senior roles in the political system: Moshe Sharett served as Foreign Minister and Prime Minister, and Zalman Shazar was Minister of Education and served as the third president of the State of Israel. In 1971 Davar merged with LaMerchav — the journal of the Achdut Ha'Avodah (Unity of Labor) party, and in 1995, in an effort to revitalize its image during a rearguard struggle for its survival, its name was changed to Davar Rishon. In 1996, after 71 years of activity, the newspaper was shut down.
Throughout Davar's long period of activity, many prominent journalists and columnists wrote for the publication (from David Zakai and Moshe Beilinson to Nahum Barnea); moreover, the paper served as an important literary hub, particularly during the years in which Dov (Stock) Sadan edited the literary supplement (1933-1939). In all the years of its publication, leading authors and poets regularly contributed to Davar, including Uri Zvi Greenberg, Gershon Shofman, Jacob Fichman, Eliezer Steinman, and Haim Be'er. At the same time, other supplements and columns were published within the framework of Davar which came to be cultural legacies, such as "Davar HaShavu'a," the first weekly supplement in the Hebrew daily press; "Davar Leyeladim," for which the artist Nahum Gutman and caricaturist Aryeh Navon served as illustrators; and the poet Natan Alterman's "HaTor HaShevi'i," which dealt with current affairs in rhymed verse. The satirical supplement "Davar Acher" — with the participation of Yair Garbuz, Shlomo Nitzan, Danny Kerman and others — continued to be published in Yedioth Ahronoth even after the discontinuation of Davar.