1984 1985 1986 - 1987 - 1988 1989 1990
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Events of 1987
- January 1 - Frobisher Bay, Northwest Territories, changes its name to Iqaluit. In 1999, it became the capital of Nunavut.
- January 2 - Battle of Fada: The Chadian army destroys a Libyan armoured brigade.
- January 3 - Aretha Franklin becomes the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- January 4 - Chase, Maryland rail wreck: An Amtrak train en route from Washington, D.C. to Boston, Massachusetts collides with Conrail engines, killing 16.
- January 5 - U.S. President Ronald Reagan undergoes prostate surgery, causing speculation about his physical fitness to continue in office.
- January 8 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 2,000 for the first time, gaining 8.30 to close at 2,002.25.
- January 13 - New York mafiosi Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno and Carmine Peruccia are sentenced to 100 years in prison for racketeering.
- January 16 - Leon Cordero, president of Ecuador, is kidnapped by followers of imprisoned General Frank Vargas, who successfully demand his release.
- January 20 - Terry Waite, the special envoy of the Archbishop of Canterbury in Lebanon, is kidnapped in Beirut (released November 1991).
- January 22 - Budd Dwyer, Treasurer for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, shoots and kills himself at a press conference after being found guilty on charges of bribery, fraud, conspiracy, and racketeering.
- January 24 - In Lebanon, gunmen kidnap Alann Steen, Jesse Turner, Robert Polhill and Mitheleshwar Singh.
- January 25 - The New York Giants defeat the Denver Broncos, 39-20, in Super Bowl XXI to win the NFL Championship for the first time since 1956.
- January 29 - William J. Casey ends his term as CIA Director.
- January 31 - The last Ohrbach's department store closes in New York City after 64 years of operation.
- February 9 - Brownsville, Texas was deluged with seven inches of rain in just two hours, and flooding in some parts of the city was worse than that caused by Hurricane Beulah in 1967.
- February 11 - British Airways is privatised and listed on the London Stock Exchange.
- February 11 - The new Constitution of the Philippines goes into effect.
- February 11 - The United States military detonates an atomic weapon at the Nevada Test Site.
- February 20 - A second Unabomber bomb explodes at the Salt Lake City computer store; the owner is injured.
- February 23 - Supernova 1987A is observed (the first "naked-eye" supernova since 1604).
- February 26 - Iran-Contra affair: The Tower Commission rebukes U.S. President Ronald Reagan for not controlling his National Security staff.
- March 2 - American Motors Corporation is acquired by the Chrysler Corporation
- March 4 - U.S. President Ronald Reagan addresses the American people on the Iran-Contra Affair, acknowledging that his overtures to Iran had 'deteriorated' into an arms-for-hostages deal.
- March 6 - Zeebrugge Disaster - A cross-channel ferry capsizes outside the harbor off Zeebrugge, Belgium - 180 drown.
- March 18 - Woodstock of physics, the marathon session of the American Physical Society’s meeting featuring 51 presentations concerning the science of high-temperature superconductors.
- March 19 - In Charlotte, North Carolina, televangelist Jim Bakker, head of PTL Ministries, resigns after admitting an affair with church secretary Jessica Hahn.
- March 29 - WrestleMania III is held at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan, setting the North American indoor attendance record at 93,173.
- March 29 - Australian Football League expansion team, the West Coast Eagles, play their first ever match (not including pre-season). They defeat the Richmond Tigers 20.13 (133) to 16.23 (119).
- April 7 - Harold Washington is re-elected Mayor of Chicago.
- April 13 - Portugal and the People's Republic of China sign an agreement in which Macau would be returned to China in 1999.
- April 19 - The first appearance of The Simpsons on The Tracy Ullman Show.
- April 20 - Professional cyclist and reigning Tour de France winner Greg LeMond is accidentally shot while turkey hunting.
- April 27 - The United States Department of Justice declares incumbent Austrian president Kurt Waldheim an "undesirable alien".
- April 30 - NASCAR driver Bill Elliott sets all time fastest lap at Talladega Superspeedway. 212.8 mph
- May 5 - The Assemblies of God defrocks Jim Bakker.
- May 8 - U.S. Senator Gary Hart drops out of the running for the Democratic presidential nomination, amid allegations of an extramarital affair with Donna Rice.
- May 9 - A Soviet-made Il-62 airliner, operated by LOT Polish Airlines crashed near the Kabacki forest in Poland, killing all 183 people on board.
- May 11 - The first heart-lung transplant takes place in Baltimore, Maryland.
- May 11 - Klaus Barbie goes on trial in Lyon for war crimes committed during World War II.
- May 14 - Lieutenant Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka executes a bloodless coup in Fiji.
- May 20 - Tennessee court rules that WWF can not promote Harley Race as the King of Wrestling in Tennessee upholding Jerry Lawler's claim.
- May 24 - Indianapolis 500: Al Unser wins for a fourth time, the second driver to do so, after A.J. Foyt in 1977.
- May 26 - Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Iron Sheik are arrested together in car for possession of marijuana. Many feel this is the beginning of the end for pro wrestling trying to hide the fact that it is scripted entertainment and not real sport, as Duggan and Sheik were portrayed as hated rivals.
- May 28 - West German pilot Mathias Rust, 19, evades Soviet air defenses and lands a private plane on Red Square in Moscow. He is immediately detained (but is released August 3, 1988).
- June 11 - United Kingdom general election, 1987: Margaret Thatcher is elected as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for the third time.
- June 12 - During a visit to Berlin, Germany, U.S. President Ronald Reagan challenges Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall.
- June 16 - SDF-1 received its first caller at 300 bit/s
- June 17 - With the death of the last individual, the Dusky Seaside Sparrow becomes extinct.
- June 19 - Teddy Seymour became officially designated the first black man to sail around the world when he completed his solo sailing circumnavigation in Frederiksted, St. Croix, of the United States Virgin Islands.
- June 19 - In the case of Edwards v. Aguillard, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that a Louisiana law requiring that creation science be taught in public schools whenever evolution was taught was unconstitutional.
- June 27 - A commercial HS 748 (Philippine Airlines Flight 206) crashes near Baguio City, Philippines, killing 50.
- June 28 - An accidental explosion at Hohenfels Training Area in West Germany kills 3 U.S. troopers.
- July 1 - The Single European Act is passed by the European Union.
- July 1 - The first ever Edgefest festival takes place at Molson Park in Barrie, Ontario.
- July 1 - U.S. President Ronald Reagan nominates former Solicitor General Robert Bork, a controversial conservative judge and legal scholar, to the U.S. Supreme Court.
- July 3 - In the Soviet Union, Vladimir Nikolayev is sentenced to death for cannibalism.
- July 3 - Greater Manchester Police recover the body of 16-year-old Pauline Reade from Saddleworth Moor after her killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley helped them in their search - almost exactly 24 years since Pauline was last seen alive.
- July 4 - A court in Lyon sentences former Gestapo boss Klaus Barbie to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity.
- July 11 - Australian Prime Minister Robert Hawke's government is re-elected for a third term.
- July 11 - World population reached 5 billion people in Zagreb, Croatia, according to the United Nations.
- July 17 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above the 2,500 mark for the first time, at 2,510.04.
- July 22 - Palestinian cartoonist Naji Salim al-Ali is shot in London; he dies August 28.
- July 27- Australian singer Kylie Minogue releases her first hit, a remake of Little Eva's The Loco-Motion.
- July 31 - Four hundred Iranian pilgrims are killed in clashes with Saudi Arabian security forces in Mecca.
- July 31 - Docklands Light Railway, the first driverless railway in Great Britain, is formally opened by Queen Elizabeth II
- July 31 - A F4-rated tornado devastates eastern Edmonton, Alberta. Hardest hit were an industrial park and a trailer park. 27 people are killed and hundreds injured. Hundreds more are left homeless and jobless.
- August 4 - The World Commission on Environment and Development, also known as the Brundtland Commission, publishes its report, Our Common Future.
- August 4 - The Federal Communications Commission rescinds the Fairness Doctrine, which had required radio and television stations to "fairly" present controversial issues.
- August 7 - Colombian frigate Caldas enters Venezuelan waters near the Los Monjes Archipelago, sparking the Caldas frigate crisis between both nations.
- August 9 - Hoddle Street Massacre: Nine people die and 17 are injured when 19-year-old Julian Knight goes on a shooting rampage in Melbourne.
- August 16 - Northwest Airlines Flight 255 (a McDonnell Douglas MD-82) crashes on takeoff from Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, Michigan just West of Detroit killing all but 1 (4-year old Cecelia Cichan) of the 156 people on-board (among them Nick Vanos, a center for the Phoenix Suns).
- August 16 - The Harmonic Convergence is observed around the world.
- August 17 - Rudolf Hess is found dead in his cell in Spandau Prison. Hess, 93, is believed to have committed suicide by hanging himself with an electrical flex. He was the last remaining prisoner at the complex, which is expected to be demolished.
- August 19 - ABC News Chief Middle East Corresponden Charles Glass escapes his Hizballah kidnappers in Beirut, Lebanon, after sixty-two days in captivity.
- August 19 - In London, The Order of the Garter is opened to women.
- August 19 - Hungerford Massacre: Michael Ryan kills 16 with an assault rifle before committing suicide.
- August 22 - The Legend of Zelda released for the NES in North America.
- August 26 -
- September 2 - In Moscow, the trial of 19-year-old pilot Mathias Rust, who flew his Cessna airplane into Red Square in May 1987, begins.
- September 7-September 21 - The world's first conference on artificial life is held at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
- September 17 - At a small rally in Harlem, televangelist Pat Robertson announces his candidacy for the 1988 Republican presidential nomination.
- October 10 - The Reverend Jesse Jackson launches his second campaign for U.S. President.
- October 11 - the first National Coming Out Day was held in celebration of the second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
- October 14-October 16 - The United States is caught up in a drama that unfolds on television as a young child, Jessica McClure, falls down a well in Midland, Texas, and is later rescued.
- October 15-October 16 - Great Storm of 1987: hurricane force winds hit much of the South of England, killing 23 people.
- October 19 - Black Monday: stock market levels fall sharply on Wall Street and around the world.
- October 19 - U.S. warships destroy 2 Iranian oil platforms in Persian Gulf
- October 19 - Two commuter trains head collided and crash at outskirt of Jakarta, Indonesia, 102 killed.
- October 23 - Champion English jockey Lester Piggott is jailed for 3 years after being convicted of tax evasion.
- October 23 - On a vote of 58-42, the United States Senate rejects President Ronald Reagan's nomination of Robert Bork to the U.S. Supreme Court.
- October 25 - The Minnesota Twins win the 1987 World Series, despite having the worst regular season win-loss ratio for a winner, a record they held until 2006.
- November 8 - Enniskillen bombing: Eleven people killed by a Provisional Irish Republican Army bomb at a Remembrance Day service at Enniskillen.
- November 17 - Gulf of Alaska Tsunami.
- November 18 - The King's Cross fire on the London Underground kills 31.
- November 18 - Iran-Contra affair: U.S. Senate and House panels release reports charging President Ronald Reagan with 'ultimate responsibility' for the affair.
- November 22 - Two Chicago television stations are hijacked by an unknown pirate dressed as Max Headroom
- November 25 - Category 5 Typhoon Nina smashes the Philippines with 165 mph winds and devastating storm surge, causing destruction and 1,036 deaths.
- November 29 - Korean Air Flight 858 is blown up over the Andaman Sea, killing 115 crew and passengers (North Korean agents are suspected).
- December 1 - NASA announces the names of 4 companies who were awarded contracts to help build Space Station Freedom: Boeing Aerospace, General Electric's Astro-Space Division, McDonnell Douglas, and the Rocketdyne Division of Rockwell.
- December 1 - Construction of the Channel Tunnel is initiated.
- December 1 - Queensland: Following a week of turmoil from his National Party of Australia colleagues, Joh Bjelke-Petersen resigns as Premier of Queensland. He is replaced by Mike Ahern, the only premier never to contest an election as premier.
- December 2 - Hustler Magazine v. Falwell is argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.
- December 7 - PSA Flight 1771 crashes near Paso Robles, California, killing all 43 on board, after a disgruntled passenger shoots his ex-supervisor on the flight, then shoots both pilots and himself.
- December 8 - Israeli-Palestinian conflict: The First Intifada begins in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
- December 8 - Queen Street Massacre in Melbourne, Australia: 22-year-old Frank Vitkovic kills 8 and injures another 5 in an Australia Post office building in Queen Street, before committing suicide by jumping from the 11th floor.
- December 8 - The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is signed in Washington, D.C. by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
- December 8 - Alianza Lima air disaster: A Peruvian Navy Fokker F27 crashes near Ventanilla, Peru, killing 43.
- December 9 - General Rahimuddin Khan retires from the Pakistan Army, as well as the cabinet of the country's military dictatorship.
- December 17 - Czechoslovakian leader Gustáv Husák resigns as General Secretary of the Communist Party.
- December 18 - Square Co., Ltd. releases Final Fantasy in Japan for the Famicom.
- December 18 - The Perl programming language was created by Larry Wall.
- December 21 - The ferry Doña Paz collides with the oil tanker Vector I - 1,500 confirmed deaths (reportedly closer to 4,000 due to unregistered passengers).
- December 29 - Prozac makes its debut in the United States.
- December 30- Pope John Paul II issues encyclical on Social Concern.