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I am about to tell one of the most ironic stories in history, the assassination of Alexander I of Yugoslavia.

Alexander I became the king of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes in 1921 after the death of his father Peter I, united these three states and called this singular kingdom Yugoslavia in 1929.

Alexander I had a great fear of Tuesdays; due to three of his family members dying on that day. He would never make any royal engagements or appear in public on Tuesday, but he had to make an exception on October 9, 1934, as he was arriving in Marseilles to start a state visit to France with the hope of strengthening Yugoslavia’s alliance with that country. Alexander I was travelling in his car with Louis Barthou, the French Foreign Minister, when a Bulgarian man named Vlado Cernozemski stepped from the street and shot the king twice and the chauffer once with a semi-automatic pistol. Alexander I died immediately, and Barthou died later that day. Cernozemski died as well, due to injuries caused by the surrounding crowd. He was part of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization fighting for Macedonian independence.

The assassination was notable as being one of the first assassinations generally caught on film, though the actual moment of the shooting was not featured. It was also later discovered that the gun that shot Barthou was a different gun than Cernozemski’s.

It is very ironic that the king who was afraid of appearing publicly on a Tuesday would be killed on that very day, turning a relatively sleepy day into an unforgettable nightmare. Have a Nice Tuesday!

 

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