In a partnership between Kansas University and the National World War I Museum in Kansas City, Mo., the assassination that led to the “war to end all wars” was recreated 100 years later Saturday morning on Twitter.
The social-media reenactment took readers along the parade route on June 28 in Sarajevo, during which an initial assassination attempt failed when Nedeljko Čabrinović threw a bomb at Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria’s 1911 Graf und Stift double Phaeton touring car. The bomb bounced off the car and hit another.
Ferdinand’s car participated in the Twitter reenactment as well, providing some comic relief to the historical documentation. The account, @luckystift1911, tweeted tongue-in-cheek messages corresponding with the events in the reenactment like, “STOP THROWING BOMBS AT ME #rude #ruinedvacation #notstoic #KU_WWI.”
Later, the reenactment saw Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, shot and killed during the second assassination attempt. Franz Ferdinand’s death sparked Austria-Hungary to declare war against Serbia, which precipitated World War I.
The coverage also touched on the love story between Franz Ferdinand and Sophie, giving insights into their personal lives. The two had gone on the trip to Sarajevo just two days before their wedding anniversary.
When they met their inevitable demise, the @ArchdukeFranzi tweeted Ferdinand’s rumored last words, “Sophie, Sophie, don’t die. Live for our children.”
The Twitter reenactment was reminiscent of last August’s #QR1863 event, which detailed in real-time Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence on the event's 150th anniversary.