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.