Destinations Magazine

On This Day in London History…

By Lwblog @londonwalks
On This Day in London History…David pauses for breath before a big anniversary…
It's probably sacrilege but I'm feeling in need of a breather from this upcoming anniversary.
And that's not to gainsay in any way the importance of that terrible, world-changing event in lower Manhattan on that cerulean-skied September morning. Or the importance of properly marking it - giving it its due - ten years on.
Question is, is its due the drowning out of just about everything else? Maybe so. Maybe it's just me (David) - my not being a big fan of matters monolithic whatever form they take. Massiveness, rigidity and uniformity spooks me. The Shakespeare line that creeps me out more than any other is Henry IV's thinking of getting up a war against "the infidels" in you-can-guess-which-part-of-the-world and Nuremberg rally dreaming: "march all one way".
Anyway, wherever the restiveness is coming from, I'm going to take it for a bit of a run.
If the 911 anniversary is the point - here's the counterpoint anniversary. And, yes, London's the stage.
Ninety years ago Charlie Chaplin was on his way back to England. Sailing on the White Star liner Olympic. Luxury liner - of course - but CC was breakfasting on salt and water. The "little tramp" had been away for nine years. He'd quit these shores a south London nobody, he was returning to them as a millionaire American.
Cut to Waterloo Station. September 10, 1921. Remember Beatlemania? Crowds that size are there to greet Charlie Chaplin. Takes a 40-strong police escort to get him to The Ritz Hotel. He's in the Regal Suite.
A huge crowd gathers below.
Charlie Chaplin comes to the window.
The one and the many.
The one throws carnations to the many.
Ninety years ago. Ten years ago. The whirligig of time.
Okay, had my breather. Back to now, back to 3652 days ago.
Our pic is from The Kid, which is available to buy on Blu-ray and DVD on the Park Circus label.
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