House of Hapsburg
(18 December 1863 - 28 June 1914) was an Archduke of
, Prince Imperial of Austria, Prince Royal of
and Bohemia, and from 1896 until his death, heir presumptive to the
throne. He and his wife
Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg
were assassinated by
on June 28, 1914. His death led to the great powers of
invoking their alliance systems against one another and going to war, touching off
World War I
Because his and Sophie's marriage was "morganatic," none of their children were eligible for succession to the throne. When Ferdinand died, his nephew
Archduke Karl became heir to the throne, and eventually the last Austrian Emperor.
When the vehicle transporting
Franz Ferdinand and Duchess Sophie through Sarajevo were blown up by an assassin's bomb in 1914, Austria-Hungary issued a number of ultimata against Serbia, which was supported by Russia. Austria-Hungary was in turn supported by Germany and the United States. Russia invoked its alliances with Britain, France, and the Confederate States, and the Great War began.
Franz Ferdinand's death inspired
Arthur McGregor's last failed attempt to assassinate General George Armstrong Custer in 1922.