Historically, no single shot can be definitely cited as the first shot of the battle or the war. Shots were fired earlier at Lexington, where eight Americans were killed and a British soldier was slightly wounded, but accounts of that event are confused and contradictory, and it has been characterized as a massacre rather than a battle. The North Bridge skirmish did see the first shots by Americans acting under orders, the first organized volley by Americans, the first British fatalities, and the first British retreat.
The question of the point of origin of the Revolutionary War has been debated between the towns of Lexington and Concord and their partisans since at least 1824, when the Marquis de Lafayette was welcomed to the "[B]irthplace of American liberty" at Lexington, then informed in Concord that it was there that the "first forcible resistance" was made. In 1875 President Grant almost avoided attending centennial celebrations in the area to evade the issue, and in 1894 Lexington petitioned the state legislature to proclaim April 19 as "Lexington Day", to which Concord objected, leading to the current name of Patriots' Day for the holiday.
Princip fired two shots, the first hitting Duchess Sophie, with the second hitting Archduke Franz. The death of the Archduke, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, propelled Austria-Hungary and the rest of Europe into what was known as the "War To End All Wars".
The phrase "Shot heard round the world" continues to be a stock phrase in the 21st century, widely used to refer to extraordinary events in general. The following sections list some examples of this.
The phrase has been applied to several dramatic moments in sports history.
In International Men's Ice Hockey, it refers to the winning goal of Paul Henderson in the final seconds of the 8th and final match to secure Team Canada's victory in the 1972 Canada-USSR Summit-series. The goal was made famous by a Frank Lennon photograph. In 1980, it was used to refer to the game-winning goal scored by U.S. Olympic team captain Mike Eruzione, putting the U.S. team in the lead for good with 10:00 minutes remaining against the highly favored Soviet Union Olympic team (the U.S. went on to win an improbable gold medal against Finland two days later). In 1987, it referred to the game-winning goal scored by Canada's Mario Lemieux with 1:26 remaining in the third and final game of the Canada Cup finals versus the Soviet Union.
In National Hockey League (NHL), refers to the winning goal of Bobby Orr in the May 10, 1970 playoff game, when he scored one of the most famous goals in hockey history and one that gave Boston its first Stanley Cup since 1941.