“Serb Student Assassinates Archduke and his Duchess”, from the Washington [DC] “Times”, 6/28/1914 [p.1]. And so World War One began 100 years ago today with an assassination in Sarajevo. This account, from an evening edition, is noticeably short on details and incorrect on one important point: the bomb was not thrown by the “Servian student”, but by another would-be assassin earlier in the day. Gavrilo Princip, the young man who actually shot the couple, was the second assassin after the bomb-thrower, and if, later in the day, the Archduke hadn’t decided to visit victims of the bombing, Princip wouldn’t have had the opportunity to shoot him. Furthermore, nor would Princip have been in a position to shoot him if the Archduke’s chauffeur hadn’t followed the original route from earlier in the day. Like so many assassinations that have changed history, a couple different choices, so evident in hindsight, would have averted tragedy.
World War I began on June 28, 1914.