America's National World War I Museum to mark Archduke's assassination

Posted on on 24 June 2014
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The National World War I Museum in Kansas City, USA, is holding a ceremony and programme of events on the 28th June to mark the Centenary of Archduke Franz Ferdinand's assassination.

The heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne and his wife Sophie were killed in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip - a Bosnian-Serb nationalist seeking to end the Austro-Hungarian rule of his people.

The Archduke's death would set off a chain of events which eventually lead to the Great Powers of Europe being at war with one another.

The National World War I Museum will be commemorating the assassination with a ceremony, featuring an address by the U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Dr. John Menzies.


The President and CEO of the Museum, Dr. Matthew Naylor, said that it is "absolutely critical that we examine the Great War so that we may derive meaning and learn lessons about this war and its enduring impact on human history".

He described the assassination of the Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie as a moment which "assissted in facilitating a series of events in one of the deadliest conflicts in human history".

WW1USA Amateur Radio Station

28th & 29th June: 10:00am - 5:00pm

The National World War I Museum, in partnership with amateur radio, will host special event radio station WW1USA from the grounds of the Liberty Memorial. Broadcasting for 31 consecutive hours, station operators will contact hundreds of other amateur radio operators across the world. Individuals are welcome to serve as a guest operator of WW1USA Radio at any time during regular Museum hours with all guests receiving a special amateur radio operator certificate.

Twitter "E-Reenactment"

28th June: 9.30am start

Bringing the First World War into the 21st century with a digital twist, staff and students from the University of Kansas, alongside local community members, will take to twitter in the guises of more than 25 historical figures reacting to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in real-time.

Recreation of Archduke's parade route

28th June: 11:00am - 1:00pm

The Museum's South Mall will be transformed into the route Archduke Franz Ferdinand took in his car on the 28th June 1914 when he was shot.

Individuals representing the seven assassins will be stationed along the Mall, where they will explain how events unfolded.

This is a free self-guided tour which also includes a vintage 1910 Maytag-Mason automobile.

Commemoration Ceremony

28th June: 2:00pm - 3:00pm

The official ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of Franz Ferdinand's assassination will feature a keynote address from the former U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dr. John Menzies.

The Kansas City Symphony String Quarter will also perform at the ceremony, whilst actor John Rensenhouse will perform stories from the era.

Eyewitness to History

June 23rd - July 3rd

​Museum Archivist Jonathan Casey is traveling to Sarajevo and Vienna between these dates and will file daily reports on the National World War I Museum website from these two cities as the Centenary begins.

You can follow his progress here.

Source: National World War I Museum press release

Images courtesy of the National World War I Museum

Posted by: Daniel Barry, Centenary New