July 19th 64: Great Fire of Rome begins
On this day in 64 AD, a fire began in the merchant area of Rome and soon went out of control. The fire burned for six days, and destroyed much of Rome in the process. Some claimed, untruthfully, that Emperor Nero failed to do anything to control the fire. It is unclear whether the fire was caused by accident or arson. Nero has been accused of starting the fire, and then blaming it on Christians to increase persecution, however modern scholars have rejected this idea.