September 17, 1991 — Use Your Illusion I and II are released

Simultaneously released, Use Your Illusion was a double album sold as two separate albums, each of which featured a version of their song “Don’t Cry” with different lyrics. The two albums included some of Guns n Roses’ best known songs, including their cover of “Live and Let Die”, as well as originals like “You Could Be Mine”, “Civil War” and “November Rain”. The latter most of these being the most epic of all Guns n Roses songs, although not the longest. “November Rain” was the 4th single from the twin albums, and the 2nd most successful (after “You Could Be Mine”). In interviews, the band stated that they felt that this was their “Stairway to Heaven”. As bold as that claim was, it has been borne out by history.

The song remains a staple of classic rock radio stations everywhere, the clip regularly places among the most popular on MTV and other such music video stations, and naturally, it is a long-standing staple of Guns n Roses live performances.

September 17, 1962 — Ray Bradbury publishes “Something Wicked This Way Comes”

Like the related Dandelion Wine, Bradbury’s novel Something Wicked This Way Comes (a title taken from Macbeth) is largely inspired by his childhood fascination with traveling carnivals. In particular, when Bradbury was 12, a carnival magician named Mr Electrico exhorted him to “Live forever” – Bradbury began writing the next day.

The novel was a great success for Bradbury, both critically and commercially. It has been adapted for film, stage and radio – the first film adaptation was even written by Bradbury himself – and has greatly influenced the writers who followed Bradbury, especially those who, like him, blend horror and fantasy elements in their works. In particular, Neil Gaiman and Stephen King have both cited this novel as a major influence on their own writing.

September 17, 1916 — Manfred von Richthofen makes his first kill as a pilot

Manfred von Richtofen won his first aerial combat with Jasta 2 in the skies over Cambrai, France, on 17 September, 1916. Between that day and his death in 1918, he shot down another 79 aircraft – and that figure includes only confirmed kills. If unconfirmed kills are included, his tally may have exceeded 100 kills.

Nor was von Richtofen merely a force to be reckoned with on his own – as leader of the Flying Circus, he and his men killed a total of a total of 644 enemy aircraft. It was at this time that he became known as the Red Baron.

He was eventually shot down himself on April 21, 1918, although who fired the fatal shots has never been confirmed.