1754: Henry Fielding died, aged 47. Famous for his novel Tom Jones, it is not widely known that as a Justice of the Peace he organised the detective force that became Scotland Yard.

1871: The Great Fire of Chicago started. According to popular belief, it started in Irish immigrant Catherine O'Leary's barn in DeKoven Street, when a cow kicked over a lantern. Some historians believe it was actually set off by Daniel "Pegleg" Sullivan, who first reported the fire. The fire burned until October 11, killing more than 250 people and making 95,000 homeless.

1891: The first street collection for charity in Britain took place in Manchester and Salford, for Lifeboat Day.

1905: Charles Nessler first used a permanent waving machine on a woman's hair. The cost for the seven-hour treatment was 10 guineas.

1908: The Wind In The Willows, Kenneth Grahame's children's book, was published. It has never been out of print.

1952: A rail crash in Harrow left 112 dead and nearly 340 injured.

1953: One of Britain's best-loved singers, the contralto Kathleen Ferrier, died of cancer at 41.

1965: The Post Office Tower in London became operational. It was opened by Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

1967: The first breathalyser test in Britain was administered to a motorist in Somerset.

1973: The first commercial radio station in Britain opened when LBC (London Broadcasting) went on the air.

ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: The Duke of Cambridge praised the "fantastic" work of the royal Heads Together campaign, as his charitable foundation announced a £2million investment towards a new mental health start-up company.

BIRTHDAYS: (Baroness) Betty Boothroyd, former speaker of the House of Commons, 89; Ray Reardon, former snooker player, 86; Albert Roux, chef and restaurateur, 83; Rev Jesse Jackson, US politician, 77; Chevy Chase, actor, 75; Sigourney Weaver, actress, 69; Ardal O'Hanlon, actor and comedian, 53; Matt Damon, actor, 48.