Subversive Historian – 09/19/08

The Barring of Charlie Chaplin From the U.S.

Fifty-six years ago on this day in people’s history, legendary comedic actor Charlie Chaplin was refused re-entry to the United States from London. On September 19th 1952, The Immigration and Naturalization Services revoked his permit at the behest of none other than J. Edgar Hoover. As a longtime resident of the U.S. Chaplin thought nothing of his short trip out of the country for the premiere of his film “Limelight,” when he became a victim of McCarthyism. Accused of being a Communist, the FBI under Hoover, compiled nearly 2,000 pages of files on the actor but could never prove anything of the sorts. Chaplin, most certainly of leftist persuasions, gave up his residency in the U.S. and moved his family to Switzerland. Reflecting on this, Chaplin said, “I have been the object of lies and proaganda by powerful reactionary groups.”

Thankfully, this giant of the silent film era was also a talkie!

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