On this day in 64 AD a fire started in the market areas of the seedy Aventine district in Rome, down near the Circus Maximus. It spread rapidly (some said unnaturally rapidly) to the northeast, leveling bucks-up townhomes and posh villas on all the best land right through the middle of the city's old-money Palatine and trendy Esquiline districts.
Emperor Nero immediately invented urban renewal, and advanced the sciences of eminent domain abuse and arson-for-profit by giant leaps, when he scarfed up all the primo land at fire sale prices and used the acreage to build a palace fitting for his imperial self. (Which is to say that it looked about three fifths Versailles, one fifth rap star, and one fifth just plain bizarre.) Then he blamed some whacky fringe cult and set some of them on fire, too.