1987 is a common year starting on Thursday.
1984 1985 1986 - 1987 - 1988 1989 1990
1950s 1960s 1970s - 1980s - 1990s 2000s 2010s
19th century - 20th century - 21st century
- January 1 - Nunavut's capital changes it name to Iqaluit from Frobisher Bay.
- January 3 - Aretha Franklin becomes the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- January 4 - An Amtrak train en route from Washington, DC to New York collides with CONRAIL engines killing 16.
- January 5 - US President Ronald Wilson Reagan undergoes prostate surgery causing worries about his health.
- January 20 - Terry Waite, the special envoy of the Archbishop of Canterbury in Lebanon, is kidnapped in Beirut (released November 1991)
- January 22 - In Pennsylvania, R. Budd Dwyer, Treasurer for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania shoots 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 29 - William J. Casey ends his term as a director of CIA
- February 11 - British Airways is privatised and listed on the London Stock Exchange.
- February 11 - Constitution of the Philippines goes into effect.
- February 11 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
- February 12 - Unabomber bomb explodes in Salt Lake City, Utah* February 23 - Supernova 1987a is observed, the first "naked-eye" supernova since 1604.
- February 26 - Iran-Contra affair: The Tower Commission rebukes American President Ronald Reagan for not controlling his national security staff.
- May 8 - Gary Hart drops out of the running for the Democratic Party nomination in the 1988 U.S. presidential election, amid allegations of an extra-marital affair with Donna Rice
- May 11 - The first heart-lung transplant takes place (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 on the island of Fiji.
- May 17 - Iran-Iraq War: The USS Stark (FFG-31), while patrolling the Persian Gulf, is struck by two exocet missiles from an Iraqi F-1 Mirage fighter killing 37 sailors and injuring 21 other crew members
- May 28 - 19-year-old West German pilot Mathias Rust evades Soviet air defense and lands a private plane on Red Square in Moscow. He is immediately detained and will later be released on Wednesday, August 3, 1988.
- August 4 - The Federal Communications Commission rescinds the Fairness Doctrine which had required radio and television stations to "fairly" present controversial issues
- August 16 - A McDonnell Douglas MD-82 carrying Northwest Airlines flight 255 crashes on takeoff from Detroit Metropolitan Airport killing all but one of the 156 people on-board (sole survivor was four-year old Cecelia Cichan). The crew forgot to properly set the planes flaps
- August 17 - The Harmonic Convergence is observed.
- August 17 - Rudolf Hess is found hanging in his cell in Spandau Prison
- August 19 - Order of the Garter opened to women
- August 19 - Hungerford Massacre: In the United Kingdom, Michael Ryan kills 16 with an assault rifle and then commits suicide
- August 28 - Michael Jackson releases Bad, his follow-up to 1982's Thriller
- 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.
- Monday-Monday, September 7-September 21 - World's first conference on artificial life, Los Alamos National Laboratory
- September 28 - Star Trek: The Next Generation premieres on syndicated television with the double-length episode "Encounter at Farpoint"
- Wednesday-Friday, October 14-October 16 - The US is caught up in a drama that unfolds on television as a young child, Jessica McClure, falls down a well and is later rescued.
- October 15 - Hurricane force winds cause extensive damage in southern England.
- October 19 - Black Monday: stock market falls sharply around the world.
- October 23 - British jockey Lester Piggott is jailed for 3 years for tax evasion
- October 30 - The NEC PC Engine is released in Japan.
- December 1 - NASA announces the names of four companies who were awarded contracts to help build the International Space Station: Boeing Aerospace, General Electric's Astro-Space Division, McDonnell Douglas, and the Rocketdyne Division of Rockwell
- December 1 - Channel Tunnel digging commences
- Monday, December 7, 1987 - Delaware celebrates its bicentennial statehood.
- Saturday, December 12, 1987 - Pennsylvania celebrates its bicentennial statehood.
- Friday, December 18, 1987 - New Jersey celebrates its bicentennial statehood.
- December 8 - first Intifada begins
- December 20 - Dona Paz collides with Vector I - 749 confirmed deaths (probably closer to 3,000 due to unregistered passengers)
- December 29 - Prozac� makes its debut in the US
Year in Topic
- 1987 in film
- Friday, February 6, 1987 - Black Widow
- Friday, March 6, 1987 - Lethal Weapon starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover
- Saturday, May 16, 1987 - Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold
- Wednesday, May 20, 1987 - Beverly Hills Cop 2 starring Eddie Murphy
- Friday, June 12, 1987 - Predator starring Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Friday, June 26, 1987 - Dragnet
- Friday, July 17, 1987 - Jaws 4: The Revenge
- Friday, November 13, 1987 - The Running Man starring Arnold Schwarzenegger
- The Untouchables
- 1987 in literature
- 1987 in music
- 1987 in science
- 1987 in sports
- 1987 in television
- CBS becomes the last American network to cease a chime intonation at the beginning of telecasts; satellite feeds have made the tones obsolete (their job was to signal to the affiliates to start airing the network feed in sync with everyone else).
- Sunday, April 5, 1987 - Married... with Children premieres on the FOX television network.
- March 9 - Bow Wow, rap musician, actor
- April 11 - Joss Stone, musician
- April 19 - Maria Sharapova, tennis player
- May 21 - Ashlie Brillault, actress (Lizzie McGuire)
- June 3 - Lalaine, actress (Lizzie McGuire)
- September 22 - Tom Felton, actor (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)
- September 28 - Hilary Duff, actress, singer (Lizzie McGuire, Agent Cody Banks)
- December 7 - Aaron Carter, singer
- January 15 - Ray Bolger, actor, singer, dancer
- February 2 - Alistair MacLean, British thriller writer, heart attack
- February 4 - Liberace
- February 22 - Andy Warhol, artist, director, writer
- March 2 - Randolph Scott, actor
- March 3 - Danny Kaye, actor, singer, comedian
- March 19 - Louis-Victor de Broglie, physicist and winner 1929 of the Nobel Prize in Physics
- March 21 - Robert Preston and Dean Paul Martin, actors
- March 28 - Maria von Trapp, singer
- April 2 - Buddy Rich, drummer
- April 4 - C. L. Moore, science fiction writer
- April 28 - Ben Linder, American engineer murdered in Nicaragua
- May 3 - Dalida, French singer
- May 6 - William Casey, controversial director of the CIA
- May 11 - Peter Tosh, musician
- May 14 - Rita Hayworth, actress
- May 19 - James Tiptree, Jr, science fiction author
- June 6 - Fulton Mackay, actor
- June 22 - Fred Astaire, actor
- July 10 - John Hammond, record producer (b. 1910)
- August 17 - Rudolf Hess, Hitler's second-in-command, commits suicide in Spandau Prison
- September 23 - Bob Fosse, theater choreographer and director
- October 1- Michael Wivholm, Best Professional Golf Player
- October 3 - Kalervo Palsa, Finnish artist
- October 19 - Jacqueline Du Pre, English Cellist
- October 20 - Andrey Nikolaevich Kolmogorov, Russian mathematician
- October 29 - Woody Herman, jazz musician (b. 1913)
- October 31 - Joseph Campbell, author and expert on mythology
- Physics - J. Georg Bednorz, [[K. Alexander M�ller]]
- Chemistry Donald J Cram, Jean-Marie Lehn, Charles J. Pedersen
- Medicine - Susumu Tonegawa
- Literature - Joseph Brodsky
- Peace- Oscar Arias Sanchez
- Economics - Robert Solow
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