Today's Golden Oldie is from December 31, 1979. I used the story of "Nero fiddling while Rome burned" as the peg on which to hang my criticism of President Carter's appeasement of the Iranian hostage-taking at the start of the Iranian Islamic Revolution 30 years ago.
"Historians aren't sure if the emperor Nero really fiddled while Rome burned, but they do know that in A.D. 64 a conflagration destroyed about two-thirds of the city. The blaze broke out near the Circus Maximus stadium and raged for six days before it was extinguished. Once doused, the fire reignited and burned for three more days. Nero used the destruction as a reason to claim more than 200 acres (80 hectares) of the city center for the construction of an enormous palace and other projects satisfying to his own architectural tastes. Resentful citizens gossiped that Nero himself had sparked the fire." - more