Artist’s rendering of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and his wife, Sophie, were assassinated on June 28, 1914, in Sarajevo, Bosnia.
The imperial couple had traveled to Sarajevo to review military troops and were on their way to the town hall when a Serbian nationalist threw a bomb at their car. It bounced off and instead exploded under the next car in the motorcade, injuring members of the imperial entourage and nearby spectators. Unharmed, Franz Ferdinand and Sophie continued on to the town hall, after which they decided to change their plans and visit the hospital where the wounded entourage members were being treated.
Unfortunately, their driver made a wrong turn and partway through the journey had to stop the car. As fate would have it, another member of the assassination plot, 19-year-old Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip, happened to be in that exact location, and as the car stopped, he shot the couple at close range. The archduke was hit in the neck, and his wife was hit in the stomach; both died from their wounds soon after.
Aftermath & Effects
On July 23, Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia with various demands regarding Serbia’s response to the assassination and the country’s future relationship with Austria-Hungary. Serbia accepted many of the demands but refused to allow Austria-Hungary to be involved in its judicial process for Serbians connected to the assassination. Thus rejected, the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on Serbia on July 28.
Within a week, five major countries in Europe were embroiled in a war they believed would be over in a matter of months. Many other nations would eventually join the conflict. The bloody war would last more than four years and result in upwards of 37 million dead, missing, or wounded soldiers.
Learn more about the Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.
Articles and Clippings about the Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
Photo of Franz Ferdinand, his wife Sophie, and their three children: Ernst, Sophie, and Maximilian Mon, Jun 29, 1914 – Page 1 · The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America) · Newspapers.comCanadian newspaper headlines announcing assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Mon, Jun 29, 1914 – Page 1 · The Winnipeg Tribune (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) · Newspapers.comAustralian newspaper announces the murder of heir to Austria-Hungary's throne, Franz Ferdinand Tue, Jun 30, 1914 – Page 7 · The Age (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) · Newspapers.comNew York Times headlines about the shooting of Franz (Francis) Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo Mon, Jun 29, 1914 – Page 1 · The New York Times (New York, New York, New York, United States of America) · Newspapers.comStory of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand as he died in his wife’s arms Mon, Jun 29, 1914 – 2 · The Evening Sun (Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America) · Newspapers.comMap of Sarajevo, Bosnia, showing key locations in the assassination Archduke Franz Ferdinand Mon, Jun 29, 1914 – Page 8 · The Times (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comSir Thomas Barclay claims the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand will bring peace to Europe Mon, Jun 29, 1914 – Page 2 · The Washington Times (Washington, District of Columbia) · Newspapers.comSome fear that murder of Franz Ferdinand will increase hatred between Austria-Hungry and Serbia Mon, Jun 29, 1914 – Page 2 · The Washington Post (Washington, District of Columbia) · Newspapers.comAssassination of Franz Ferdinand may bring "gravest danger to the peace of Europe" Mon, Jun 29, 1914 – Page 1 · Lincoln Journal Star (Lincoln, Lancaster, Nebraska, United States of America) · Newspapers.comAustrians in Bosnia participate in anti-Serb riots after the assassination of Franz Ferdinand Tue, Jun 30, 1914 – 2 · Staunton Daily Leader (Staunton, Virginia, United States of America) · Newspapers.comOfficials claim that multiple bombs were placed along Archduke Franz Ferdinand's route Wed, Jul 1, 1914 – 1 · Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio, United States of America) · Newspapers.comKaiser Wilhelm of Germany will not attend the funeral of Franz Ferdinand out of fear for his life Thu, Jul 9, 1914 – 4 · The Linn Digest (Linn, Kansas, United States of America) · Newspapers.comFirst photos taken after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne Sat, Jul 18, 1914 – Page 6 · Arizona Republic (Phoenix, Maricopa, Arizona, United States of America) · Newspapers.comExplanation from July 1914 about the events that led to war in Europe Thu, Jul 23, 1914 – Page 6 · The Atmore Record (Atmore, Alabama) · Newspapers.comMurder of Franz Ferdinand is called "the first link in the chain of events" that caused crisis Thu, Sep 10, 1914 – 7 · Smith County Journal (Smith Center, Kansas, United States of America) · Newspapers.com