• On Sept. 2, 1666, the Great Fire of London breaks out in the house of King Charles II’s baker near London Bridge. When the Great Fire finally was extinguished on Sept. 6, more than 80% of London was destroyed and 100,000 people were left homeless.
• On Sept. 3, 1939, Britain and France declare war on Germany. The first casualty of that declaration was the British ocean liner Athenia, which was sunk by a German U-30 submarine.
• On Sept. 6, 1943, a new high-speed train traveling between New York City and Washington, D.C., derails, killing 79 people and seriously injuring 100 more. The Congressional Limited traveled at a then-unprecedented speed of 65 mph.
• On Sept. 4, 1957, Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus enlists the National Guard to prevent nine Black students from entering Central High School in Little Rock. The armed Arkansas militia troops surrounded the school while an angry crowd of some 400 whites jeered, booed and threatened to lynch the frightened teenagers.
• On Sept. 1, 1972, American chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer defeats Russian Boris Spassky during the World Chess Championship in Reykjavik, Iceland. Fischer became the first American to win the competition since its inception in 1866.
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