Saturday, June 28, 2014



Sarajevo, Bosnia (JFK+50) One hundred years ago today, June 28, 1914, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated and his wife, Sophia, was killed as they rode in an open touring car here in Sarajevo.

The Royal couple were on a state visit and celebrating their wedding anniversary.

The assassin, a young Serbian named Gavrilo Princip, was taken into custody. Princip was one of seven members of a Bosnian-Serb militant organization desiring independence from Austria-Hungary.

The assassination will trigger a chain reaction of events which led to a declaration of war by Austria-Hungary on Serbia and the beginning of world war.

Murder in Sarajevo

Allan Little of the BBC reports that "cultural and sporting events" will mark the 100th anniversary of the assassination along with a concert by the Vienna Philharmonic.

Little also writes that the great granddaughter of the Archduke and family "will be holding events at Artstetten, near Vienna, where Ferdinand in buried."

Serbs in Sarajevo, however, who celebrate Princip as a national hero, unveiled a statue of the assassin this past Friday.  

A recreation of the assassination will be performed in Visegrad.


"Sarajevo marks 100 years since Archduke Francis Ferdinand shooting," by Allan Little, June 28, 2014,


Cork, Ireland (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy paid a visit to Cork, Ireland's second largest city 51 years ago today, June 28, 1963.

President Kennedy was greeted by a crowd estimated to be 100,000.

Speaking in Cork, JFK took pride in introducing "2 or 3 Irishmen" who came along with him from America.

First to be introduced was JFK's Presidential assistant and long-time political and personal confidant, David Powers who, according to Mr. Kennedy, had seven of his cousins sitting with him on the front row.

The second "Irishman" to be introduced was Larry O'Brien, JFK's legislative aide and the third was Jim Roley, head of the United States Secret Service.

In his address, JFK said that Ireland's mission today...

"is to lead the free world (as it) has done for the last 800 years (in) independence and freedom".

Later, back at Dublin's Arbour Hill, President Kennedy laid a wreath at the grave of Irishmen who took part in the 1916 Easter Uprising.

He also watched the Irish Guards perform  impressive drills. (In late November 1963Mrs. Kennedy arranged for the drill team to perform at JFK's funeral service at Arlington).

Irish Guards at Arlington
November 25, 1963

President Kennedy then proceeded to Leinster House to speak to a joint session of the Dail and Seanad (Irish Parliament).

JFK spoke about the heroics of the Irish Brigade at the Battle of Fredericksburg in December 1862.

The President presented one of the surviving flags of the 69th Regiment of New York volunteers from the battle "to the people of Ireland".

Battle Flag of the 69th Regiment
New York Volunteers

JFK said to the Irish Parliament:

"Today this is no longer the country of hunger and famine....nor is it any longer a country of persecution, political or religious.  It is a free country and that is why any American feels at home.

This is an extraordinary country.  George Bernard Shaw, speaking as an Irishman, summed up an approach to life:  'Other people', he said, 'see things and...say: why? But I dream things that never were and say: why not?"*

*RFK would later use this Shaw quote in his 1968 Presidential campaign with the change...."Some men see things as they are and say why?  I dream things that never were and say why not?"

 Dail Chamber, Leinster House
 Dublin, Ireland
June 28, 2008
Photo by AnCatDubh

Still later, at Dublin Castle, JFK was given honorary law degrees to National University of Ireland and Trinity College.  

JFK said:

"I want to express....thanks to the people of Dublin.  I can imagine nothing more pleasant than continuing day after day to drive through the streets of Dublin and waving and I may come back and do it."

JFK Motorcade in Dublin
June 28, 1963