19 September 1997

The Guelb El-Kebir massacre in Algeria kills 53 people.

The Guelb El-Kebir massacre took place in the village of Guelb el-Kebir, near Beni Slimane, in the Algerian province of Medea, on 19 September 1997. 53 people were killed by attackers that were not immediately identified, though the attack was similar to others carried out by Islamic groups opposed to the Algerian government.

An armed group killed 53 civilians early today and then mutilated and burned their bodies in the continuing wave of violence in Algeria, a newspaper reported.

The raid came after Algerian security forces killed 19 armed Islamic militants during raids on Friday and Saturday, witnesses and independent newspapers said today.

The latest killings of civilians took place in Beni-Slimane, about 40 miles south of Algiers, the daily newspaper Le Soir d’Algerie said.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack, but similar killings have been committed by Islamic militants who are seeking to overthrow the military-backed Government.

On Saturday night, Government security forces killed three Islamic militants in Bab el Oued, an Algiers neighborhood. Three other militants were killed on Friday in a Mosque in the eastern suburbs of Algiers, two independent newspapers, L’Authentique and El Khabar, reported today.

The newspapers also reported that 13 Islamic activists were killed and several of their bunkers destroyed by Government forces on Friday and Saturday in Tizi Ouzou and Zbarbar regions, 60 miles south of Algiers.

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The Government has failed to suppress the militants, who began their insurgency in 1992 after the Algerian Army canceled legislative elections that fundamentalist parties were poised to win.

19 September 1952

The United States prevents Charlie Chaplin from entering the country after a trip to England.

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September 1952 marked Charlie Chaplin’s first visit to England in 21 years; yet it also marked the beginning of his exile from the United States. The trip to Europe was meant to be a brief one to promote his new film Limelight, with Chaplin remarking upon his departure that “I shall probably be away for six months, but no more.” However, on 19 September, while Chaplin was still at sea, the US Attorney-General announced plans to lauch an inquiry into whether he would be re-admitted to the US. In the end it would be 20 years before he would return.

US press such as the New York Times cautioned that “those who have followed him through the years cannot easily regard him as a dangerous person”; but, as the above article reporting from a press conference given by Chaplin at Cherbourg on 22 September details, American critics of Chaplin’s “anti-Americanness’ had been following him since 1917.

Chaplin arrived in Southampton on 23 September to a rapturous greeting from fans and well-wishers, and later that day gave a press conference in London where he resolutely stated that he was not a Communist, but someone “who wants nothing more for humanity than a roof over every man’s head.”

19 September 1970

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The first performing arts festival, the Glastonbury Festival is held at Michael Eavis’s farm in Glastonbury, United Kingdom.

Glastonbury Festival is a five-day festival of contemporary performing arts. In addition to contemporary music, the festival hosts dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret, and other arts. Leading pop and rock artists have headlined, alongside thousands of others appearing on smaller stages and performance areas. Films and albums recorded at Glastonbury have been released, and the festival receives extensive television and newspaper coverage. Glastonbury is the largest greenfield festival in the world, and is now attended by around 175,000 people,requiring extensive infrastructure in terms of security, transport, water, and electricity supply. The majority of staff are volunteers, helping the festival to raise millions of pounds for good causes.

The festival takes place in south west England at Worthy Farm between the small villages of Pilton and Pylle in Somerset, six miles east of Glastonbury. In recent years the site has been organized around a restricted backstage compound, with the Pyramid stage on the north, and Other stage on the south of the compound. Attractions on the east of the site include the acoustic tent, comedy tent and circus.

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