Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand
100 years ago, on June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated, setting of the “July Crisis” which in turn led to the beginning of World War I. A group of discontent Serbs planned to kill the Archduke because they wanted the southern provinces of Austria to break off into an independent nation. At 10:10 am one of the conspirators tried to throw a bomb at the archduke’s car. However, the bomb exploded to late, missing the archduke and destroying the next car and wounding 15-20 people. The would-be assassin tried, and failed, to commit suicide, and was captured by the police. The rest of the conspirators took up a new position and waited.
Soon enough the archduke’s car returned, mistakenly following the same route on the return journey. Gavrilo Princip stepped up and fired twice, killing the Archduke and his wife. Princip and the rest of the assassins, and those who assisted them were soon caught. Four were executed and thirteen more received prison sentences. But by that time the spark of the assassination had already exploded into the Great War.