Slideshow

The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, 100 Years On

The shots heard round the world.

June 27, 2014, 12:25 p.m.

On June 28, 1914, Arch­duke Franz Ferdin­and, heir ap­par­ent to the Aus­tro-Hun­gari­an throne, was gunned down in the Balkan city of Sa­ra­jevo. Six as­sas­sins were in Sa­ra­jevo that day and one failed to harm Ferdin­and with a bomb dur­ing a parade. After a speech, Ferdin­and rode in a vehicle that made a wrong turn and was stopped right at the corner where the sixth and fi­nal as­sas­sin, Gav­rilo Prin­cip, happened to be stand­ing. Prin­cip shot and killed him and his wife, Soph­ie; the as­sas­sin­a­tion sparked the be­gin­ning of World War I. 

Photograph of the Archduke and his wife emerging from the Sarajevo Town Hall to board their car, a few minutes before the assassination National Journal
A picture taken on January 14, 2014 shows the street corner where Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip assassinated Austro-Hungarian heir to the throne Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his pregnant wife Sophia on June 28, 1914. Although the underlying causes of World War I are well known -- simmering tensions between rival blocs, bound by a complex network of alliances -- the assassination in Sarajevo has long been considered as the trigger for the beginning of the 1914-18 conflict.  AFP/Getty Images
Picture showing the front page of of Czech Daily "Narodni Listy" carrying the news about the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and his wife in Sarajevo 28 June 1914. Thirty days after Europe embarked for the bloodiest war the World had ever known.  AFP/Getty Images
SARAJEVO, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA - JUNE 27: Actors rehearse a piece for a performance the next day at the Latin Bridge as a billboard at a museum showing Archduke Ferdinand stands behind on June 27, 2014 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sarajevo will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the June 28, 1914, assassinaiton of the Archduke by a Serbian secessionist named Gavrilo Princip, which was the key event that propelled Europe into World War I.  Getty Images
Photo shows Franz Ferdinand (1863-1914), Archduke of Austria-Este with with his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg (1868-1914) and their children.  National Journal
SARAJEVO, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA - JUNE 27: Visitors photograph one another in a replica of the car that Austrian Archduke Ferdinand rode in when he was assassinated at the same spot 100 years before on June 27, 2014 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sarajevo will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the June 28, 1914, assassinaiton of the Archduke by a Serbian secessionist named Gavrilo Princip, which was the key event that propelled Europe into World War I. Getty Images
Gavrila Princi National Journal
SARAJEVO, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA - JUNE 27: Honour guards stand under plaques that describe the destruction of the building, formerly the National Library and today restored as City Hall (called Vijecnica), during the Bosnian War in 1992, during rehearsals inside by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra on June 27, 2014 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sarajevo will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the June 28, 1914, assassination of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand by a Serbian secessionist named Gavrilo Princip, which was the key event that propelled Europe into World War I. Leading Serbian politicians are boycotting the Sarajevo events because they claim the events have become too partisan, and they object specficially to the reference of "Serbian criminals" on the plaque. Getty Images
Photograph shows Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria (1863-1914) with his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg (1868-1914) and their children.  National Journal
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