It happened today – this day in history – September 2

1666: The Great Fire of London began in Pudding Lane in the house of Thomas Farynor, baker to King Charles II. It ended on September 6 at Pye Corner. Around 13,200 buildings were destroyed as well as St Paul’s Cathedral and 87 other churches.

1726: English prison reformer and philanthropist John Howard was born in Hackney, east London.

1834: Thomas Telford, Scottish engineer, road, bridge and canal builder, died in London and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

1906: Roald Amundsen, the first person to reach the South Pole, completed his sailing round Canada’s Northwest Passage.

1916: The last of the famous Blaydon races – immortalised in the folk song – in Northumberland were held.

1939: On the eve of the official declaration of the Second World War, Ted Drake scored four goals for Arsenal against Sunderland and Bournemouth beat Northampton Town 10-0 at Dean Court.

1945: The formal Japanese surrender to the Allies was signed on board the American battleship USS Missouri.

1973: JRR Tolkien, creator of Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit, died aged 81.

1974: Edward Heath’s Morning Cloud III was sunk in a Force 9 gale in the English Channel.

1980: John Arlott, BBC cricket commentator, called his last game, England vs. Australia at Lord’s, before retiring after 35 years of broadcasting.

ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: Almost a third of puppies bought online die or fall ill within their first year, a charity warned.

BIRTHDAYS: Derek Fowlds, actor, 82; Mark Harmon, actor, 68; Jimmy ,Connors, former tennis player, 67; Keanu Reeves, actor, 55; Lennox Lewis, former boxer, 54; Salma Hayek, actress, 53; Chris Tremlett, cricketer, 38; Joey Barton, footballer, 37.

Subscribe to get your latest local news articles by email each day...

Or click here to subscribe to our weekly digital edition. Your details will be stored to support your experience in line with our privacy policy.