Monday, June 28, 2010

On This Date

June 28, 1914 – Sarajevo, Serbia: Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austria-Hungarian empire, was assassinated along with his wife Sophie by 19-year-old Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip while they were riding in a motorcade. The murder led to a series of demands from Austria and her allies to Serbia and her allies, and before anyone could really figure out what was going on, World War I was underway. Millions died, empires crumbled, political movements and revolutions were born, dictatorships were established, and there’s little doubt that the hard peace exacted from Germany in 1919 led to the Second World War twenty years later.

It makes you wonder what the world might have been like had the Archduke’s chauffeur not made a wrong turn and Gavrilo Princip not been standing on the corner on that June afternoon in downtown Sarajevo.