Archduke Franz Ferdinand
- Assassinated By: Gavrilo Princip
- Year: 1914
- Cause of Fatality: Gunshot Wound
- Motive: Sought To End Austro-Hungarian Rule Over Bosnia and Herzegovina
Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. Of course, this was a major empire at the time and Franz remaining alive would only lead to this empire continuing. A Serbian society called the Black Hand wanted to put an end to it in 1914. A man named Danilo IliÄ sent six assassins via motorcycle to end the Archduke while on his motorcade route in Sarajevo. Two assassins got cold feet and bowed out.
Another assassin threw a bomb but it bounced off a convertible and blew up the car behind Franz. Knowing he’d be caught, he swallowed a cyanide pill and jumped into the Milijack River. Sadly for him, the pill was out of date and did not end him and the river was not deep so he was beaten by a crowd. One of the other six assassins, Gavrilo Princip, was getting a sandwich when he saw Franz’s car reversing. He took the opportunity to run up and shoot Franz, triggering World War I. Talk about notable assassinations, right? It’s unlikely Princip thought he’d start a World War doing this.