Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 2 September
44BC: Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt declared her son co-ruler as Ptolemy XV Caesarion.
31BC: The forces of Octavian defeated those of Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium, the decisive confrontation in the final War of the Roman Republic.
1666: The Great Fire of London began in a bakehouse in Pudding Lane and ended on 6 September at Pye Corner. Although an enormous amount of property was destroyed, including St Paul’s Cathedral, only six people died.
1792: The September massacres of the French Revolution began, as rampaging mobs in Paris slaughtered three Roman Catholic bishops, more than 200 priests and prisoners believed to be royalist sympathisers.
1866: Crete, after long discontent against Turkish authority, revolted and merged with Greece.
1900: Nationalists staged a large demonstration in Phoenix Park, Dublin, demanding that Ireland be free of British rule.
1939: Under the National Service Bill, men in Britain between the ages of 19 and 41 were conscripted.
1942: German SS completed destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto. More than 50,000 Jews were killed or shipped to death camps.
1944: George W Bush ejected from a burning plane during the Second World War.
1945: VJ Day – the formal surrender of Japan aboard USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
1945: Independent Vietnam Republic was proclaimed by Ho Chi Minh, who became president.
1946: The interim Government of India was formed, with Jawaharlal Nehru as first prime minister.
1971: An IRA bomb destroyed the headquarters of the Ulster Unionist Party in Belfast.
1982: Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards’ house burned down.
1985: England defeated Australia at The Oval to regain the Ashes.
1986: Singer Cathy Evelyn Smith was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for injecting actor John Belushi with a fatal drug ovrerdose.
1987: West German pilot Matthias Rust went on trial for flying a private plane from Finland to Moscow, where he landed close to the Kremlin.
1987: Philips launched the video version of its compact disc, called CD-video, combining digital sound and high-definition video.
1988: In the North Sea, a seal virus was reported to be spreading from common to grey seals.
1988: Iran accused Iraq of more than 70 violations of two-week-old ceasefire.
1989: South African riot police arrested more than 400 anti-apartheid protesters in Cape Town.
1990: Iraq allowed 700 hostages, mainly women and children, to leave the country, including 200 Britons.
1995: Frank Bruno became world heavyweight boxing champion when he outpointed Oliver McCall in London.
1998: Swissair flight 111, en route from New York to Geneva, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near Nova Scotia, killing all 229 on board.
2008: New Orleans breathed a sigh of relief after Hurricane Gustav made its way inland from the Gulf coast, but largely missed the US city that had been ravaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
2010: Former Labour prime minister Tony Blair’s book, A Journey, became Waterstone’s fastest-selling autobiography ever.
2012: A decade-long ban on veiled female news presenters was lifted from state television in Egypt.
Salma Hayek, actress, 49; Keith Allen, actor and comedian, 62; Lennox Lewis CBE, former world heavyweight boxing champion, 50; Jimmy Connors, Wimbledon champion and commentator, 63; Mark Harmon, actor, 64; Keanu Reeves, actor, 51; 34; Joey Barton, footballer, 33; Tom Steels, cyclist, 44; Guy Laliberté, founder of Cirque du Soleil, 56; Rosalind Ashford-Holmes, R&B and blues singer, 72.
Births: 1726 John Howard, prison reformer; 1887 Sir Robert Bruce Lockhart, Anstruther-born diplomat and writer; 1911 Eileen Way, actress; 1913 Bill Shankly OBE, Scottish football manager; 1929 Victor Spinetti, actor, director, poet and author; 1948 Christa McAuliffe, teacher and astronaut.
Deaths: 490 Pheidippides, Greek hero and original marathon runner; 1834 Thomas Telford, engineer, road, bridge and canal builder; 1957 Sir William Alexander Craigie, Scottish philologist and lexicographer; 1967 Francis Ouimet, US Open golf champion and captain of the R&A; 1973 JRR Tolkien, author; 1994 Roy Castle OBE, entertainer; 1997 Sir Rudolf Bing, founder of Edinburgh Festival and artistic director from 1947-49; 1998 Sir Alastair Dunnett, editor of The Scotsman 1956-1972; 2001 Christian Barnard, heart transplant surgeon.