A century ago tomorrow, World War One was started by five Serbians and one Bosnian who plotted to kill a man and his wife in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. The National World One Museum in Kansas City starts a five-year commemoration tomorrow of a war most Americans don’t understand
The murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the apparent heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, set off a series of events that widened and became more violent until people on every inhabited continent were fighting the first significant mechanized war, the first war in which combatants did not necessarily have to see the enemy they killed.
Museum spokesman Mike Vietti says the museum is more than uniforms and old weapons. Among other things, it lets visitors experience the war in the trenches–French, British, German, and American. Vietti says it’s the entire social history of the war and its lasting echoes that led to World War II and are still shaping international conflicts today.
The fighting stopped in November, 1918 but the museum will continue the observance into 2019 to mark the centennial of the Treaty of Versailles, signed 95 years ago tomorrow, five years to the day the war began with the assassination.