On this day two horrific historic events coincide – the overthrow of genocidal maniac Pol Pot and the terrorist attack on French Magazine Charlie Hedbo.
NY-London Phone Service.
Commercial transatlantic telephone service was inaugurated between New York and London. There is no confirmation as to whether the first call from the U.S. asked if the recipient if they had Prince Albert in a can.
Vietnam Overthrows Pol Pot
Vietnam, working with resistance to the Cambodian Khmer Rouge, invaded Cambodia on Christmas Day 1978 and by January 7th had claimed its capital in Phnom Penh.
In doing so, Vietnam brought an end to the murderous rule of Pol Pot whose radical Year Zero program killed between 1.4 and 2.2 million Cambodians either directly or due to starvation. Vietnam would occupy Cambodian until 1989.
President Carter Signs Chrysler Bailout Legislation
President Jimmy Carter authorizes legislation giving $1.5 billion in loans to bail out the Chrysler Corporation.
Charlie Hedbo Terrorist Attack
Two Islamist gunmen forced their way into the Paris headquarters of Charlie Hebdo and opened fire, killing twelve: During the attack, the gunmen shouted “Allahu akbar” (“God is great” in Arabic) and also “the Prophet is avenged”. Charlie Hebdo was a satirical magazine that had enraged fundamentalists with its cartoon depictions of the prophet Muhammad. French President François Hollande described it as a “terrorist attack of the most extreme barbarity”. The two gunmen were French Muslim brothers of Algerian descent and were killed two days later after an 8-hour standoff with police.
Joachim Roncin, an art director at a Parisian magazine, used the Charlie Hedbo font to post in simple white on a background – “I am Charlie” on his Twitter feed. Within two days of the attack, the slogan had become one of the most popular news hashtags in Twitter history. as it was adopted worldwide.
On 12 January, Charlie Hebdo revealed the cover of its 14 January issue, set to be published a week after the attacks began. The cover features a cartoon of the Islamic prophet Muhammad shedding a tear while holding a Je suis Charlie sign, above the words “Tout est pardonné” (“All is forgiven”)
Tony Conigliaro (1945-1990)
Red Sox hometown legend Tony Conigliaro, the promising young slugger whose career never recovered from being nearly blinded after being hit by a pitch on his left cheekbone.