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1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link displays 1987 Gregorian calendar).

Events of 1987


* January 1 – Frobisher Bay, Northwest Territories, changes its name to Iqaluit. In 1999, it becomes the capital of Nunavut.
* January 2Chadian–Libyan conflictBattle of Fada: The Chadian army destroys a Libyan armoured brigade.
* January 3Aretha Franklin becomes the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

* January 41987 Maryland train collision: An Amtrak train en route from Washington, D.C. to Boston, Massachusetts collides with Conrail engines at Chase, Maryland, 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 13New York mafiosi Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno and Carmine Peruccia are sentenced to 100 years in prison for racketeering.
* January 16León Febres Cordero, president of Ecuador, is kidnapped by followers of imprisoned General Frank Vargas, who successfully demand his release.
* January 20Terry Waite, the special envoy of the Archbishop of Canterbury in Lebanon, is kidnapped in Beirut (released November 1991).
* January 22Pennsylvania Treasurer Budd Dwyer shoots and kills himself with a revolver during a televised 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 25Super Bowl XXI: The New York Giants defeat the Denver Broncos 39-20
* January 29William J. Casey ends his term as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
* January 31 – The last Ohrbach's department store closes in New York City after 64 years of operation.


* February 9Brownsville, Texas is deluged with 7 inches (178mm) of rain in just two hours, and flooding in some parts of the city is worse than that caused by Hurricane Beulah in 1967.
* February 11British 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, injuring the owner.
* February 23Supernova 1987A, the first "naked-eye" supernova since 1604, is observed.
* February 26Iran-Contra affair: The Tower Commission rebukes U.S. President Ronald Reagan for not controlling his National Security Council staff.


* March 2American 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 6Zeebrugge Disaster: A cross-channel ferry capsizes outside the harbor off Zeebrugge, Belgium; 180 drown.
* March 9 – The Irish rock band U2 releases their studio album ''The Joshua Tree''.
* March 18Woodstock of physics: The marathon session of the American Physical Society’s meeting features 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 24 Michael Eisner, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, and French President Jacques Chirac sign the agreement to construct the 4,800 acre Euro Dinsey Resort (now called Disneyland Resort Paris) and to develop the new town Marne-la-Vallée in Paris, France.


* April 7Harold Washington is re-elected Mayor of Chicago.
* April 13Portugal and the People's Republic of China sign an agreement in which Macau will be returned to China in 1999.
* April 19 – ''The Simpsons'' cartoon first appears 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 30NASCAR driver Bill Elliott sets all time fastest lap at Talladega Superspeedway.


* 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, crashes near the Kabacki forest in Poland, killing all 183 people on board.
* May 11Klaus 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 16St. Mirren wins the Scottish Cup beating Dundee United 1–0.
* May 17 – U.S.S. Stark was hit by two Iraqi owned Exocet AM39 air-to-surface missiles killing 37 sailors.
* May 21Andrew Wyeth, with his "Helga Pictures," became the first living American painter to have a one-man show of his work in the West Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.
* May 28 – Nineteen year-old West German pilot Mathias Rust evades Soviet air defenses and lands a private plane on Red Square in Moscow. He is immediately detained (released on August 3, 1988).


* June 3Trade unionists in Vanuatu found the Vanuatu Labour Party.
* June 11United Kingdom general election, 1987: Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher wins for the third time with a landslide majority.
* 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 16SDF-1 receives its first caller at 300 bit/s.
* June 17 – With the death of the last individual, the Dusky Seaside Sparrow becomes extinct.
* June 19Teddy Seymour is officially designated the first black man to sail around the world, when he completes his solo sailing circumnavigation in Frederiksted, St. Croix, of the United States Virgin Islands.
* June 19Edwards v. Aguillard: The Supreme Court of the United States rules that a Louisiana law requiring that creation science be taught in public schools whenever evolution is taught is 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.
* June 29South Korean president Roh Tae-Woo makes a speech promising a wide program of nationwide reforms, the result of the 6.10 Democratization Movement.


* July 1 – The Single European Act is passed by the European Community.
* 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 to the Supreme Court. The nomination is later rejected by the Senate, the first and only nominee rejection to date.
* July 3 – In the Soviet Union, Vladimir Nikolayev is sentenced to death for cannibalism.
* July 3Greater 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 11Australian Prime Minister Robert Hawke's government is re-elected for a third term.
* July 11World population reaches five billion people with a child born in Zagreb, Croatia, according to the United Nations.[http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0DE7DB123EF931A25754C0A961948260 And Baby Makes Five Billion: U.N. Hails a Yugoslav Infant – New York Times]
* July 17 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above the 2,500 mark for the first time, at 2,510.04.
* July 21Guns N' Roses release their debut album, ''Appetite For Destruction'', which would go on to sell over 28 million copies as of 2008.
* July 22 – Palestinian cartoonist Naji Salim al-Ali is shot in London; he dies August 28.
* July 25 – The East Lancashire Railway, a heritage railway in the North West of England, is opened between Bury and Ramsbottom.
* July 27Australian 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 31Docklands 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 2Viswanathan Anand becomes the first Asian to win The World Junior Chess Championship.
* 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 – The Colombian frigate ''Caldas'' enters Venezuelan waters near the Los Monjes Archipelago, sparking the Caldas frigate crisis between both nations.
* August 9Hoddle Street Massacre: Julian Knight, 19, goes on a shooting rampage in Melbourne, killing 9 people and injuring 17.
* August 14 – All the children held at Kia Lama, a rural property on Lake Eildon, Australia, run by the Santiniketan Park Association, are released after a police raid.
* August 16Northwest 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 followers of the Harmonic Convergence claim it was observed around the world.
* August 17Rudolf 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 soon demolished.

* August 19ABC News' chief Middle East correspondent Charles Glass escapes his Hezbollah kidnappers in Beirut, Lebanon, after 62 days in captivity.
* August 19Order of the Garter is opened to women.
* August 19Hungerford massacre: Michael Ryan kills 16 with an assault rifle before committing suicide.
* August 31Michael Jackson releases his third solo album Bad.


* September 2 – In Moscow, the trial begins for 19-year-old pilot Mathias Rust, who flew his Cessna airplane into Red Square in May.
* September 721 – 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 is held in celebration of the second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
* October 1416 – 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 1516Great Storm of 1987: Hurricane-force winds hit much of South England, killing 23 people.
* October 19Black Monday: Stock market levels fall sharply on Wall Street and around the world.
* October 19 – U.S. warships destroy 2 Iranian oil platforms in the Persian Gulf
* October 19 – Two commuter trains collide head-on on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia; 102 are killed.
* October 23 – Champion English jockey Lester Piggott is jailed for three 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 Supreme Court.
* October 251987 World Series: The Minnesota Twins win despite having the worst regular season win–loss ratio for a winner, a record they hold until 2006.
* October 26 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average goes down 156.83 points.


* November 1InterCity 125 breaks world land speed record of 238km (147.88mph).
* November 4 – The Kamehameha Schools celebrates its centennial year. The Red Cross honors Bernice Pauahi Bishop as the Humanitarian of the Year.
* November 7Zine El Abidine Ben Ali assumes the Presidency of Tunisia.
* November 8Enniskillen bombing: Eleven people are killed by a Provisional Irish Republican Army bomb at a Remembrance Day service at Enniskillen.
* November 17 – The Gulf of Alaska Tsunami hits.
* November 18 – The King's Cross fire on the London Underground kills 31.
* November 18Iran-Contra affair: U.S. Senate and House panels release reports charging President Ronald Reagan with 'ultimate responsibility' for the affair.
* November 22Max Headroom broadcast signal intrusion incident – unknown perpetrators hijack the signal of WGN-TV for about 20 seconds, and WTTW for about 90 seconds, and display a strange video of a man in the eponymous mask.
* November 25Category 5 Typhoon Nina smashes the Philippines with winds and a devastating storm surge, causing destruction and 1,036 deaths.
* November 29Korean Air Flight 858 is blown up over the Andaman Sea, killing 115 crew and passengers (North Korean agents are suspected).


* December 1NASA 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 1Queensland: 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 7Pacific Southwest Airlines 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 8Israeli-Palestinian conflict: First Intifada begins in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
* December 8Queen Street massacre: In Melbourne, Australia, 22-year-old Frank Vitkovic kills 8 and injures another 5 in a Post Office building before committing suicide by jumping from the eleventh 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 8Alianza Lima air disaster: A Peruvian Navy Fokker F27 crashes near Ventanilla, Peru, killing 43.
* December 9 – General Rahimuddin Khan retires from the Pakistan Army, along with the cabinet of the country's military dictatorship.
* December 9Microsoft releases Windows 2.0.
* December 17Gustáv Husák resigns as General Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia.
* December 18Square Co., Ltd. releases ''Final Fantasy'' in Japan for the Famicom.
* December 18 – The Perl programming language is created by Larry Wall.
* December 20 – In history's worst peacetime sea disaster, the passenger ferry MV ''Doña Paz'' sinks after colliding with the oil tanker ''Vector 1'' in the Tablas Strait in the Philippines, killing an estimated 4,000 people (1,749 official).
* December 29Prozac makes its debut in the United States.
* December 30Pope John Paul II issues the encyclical Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (''On Social Concern'').


* The Pendolino train makes its debut in Italy.
* Tinker Hatfield designed the Nike Air Max.
* Shoko Asahara founds the Aum Shinrikyo cult.
* Thomas Knoll and John Knoll develop the first version of Photoshop.
* Maglite introduces the 2AAA Mini Maglite battery, targeted for medical and industrial applications.
* The University of Kuvempu is established.
* Barry Minkow's ''ZZZZ Best'' fraud unravels.
* The pilot of a British Aerospace BAE Harrier GR5 registered ZD325 accidentally ejects his aircraft. The jet continues to fly until it runs out of fuel and crashes into the Irish Sea.
* A squirrel closes down the New York Stock Exchange when it burrows through a telephone line.


* Cold War.
* LRA.


The following are references to year 1987 in fiction:

* Music:

:* 1987 (What the Fuck Is Going On?), debut album by The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, later known as The KLF.

* Film:
:* ''13 Going on 30'' (2004): The scenes where Jenna is thirteen take place on May 26, 1987.
:* ''American Psycho'' (2000): According to director Mary Harron on the DVD commentary, the film is set around the end of 1987. Patrick Bateman is seen reading Zagat's Survey of this year as well.
:* ''Fargo'' (1996): The film takes place in Minnesota, 1987
:* ''Adventureland'' (2009): The film takes place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, summer 1987.

* Television:
:* ''Buck Rogers in the 25th Century'' (1979): NASA launches the last of America's deep-space probes, the Space Shuttle ''Ranger 3'', which is piloted by Captain William "Buck" Rogers.
:* Set in 1987: the ''Doctor Who'' episode "Father's Day," 2005 takes place on November 7.

* Computer/video games:

:* ''Resident Evil'': Michael Warren is elected mayor of Raccoon City.
:* ''Shenmue'' (1999) – Story continues into 1987.
:* ''Shenmue II'' (2001): The game is set in 1987
:* ''Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus'' is set in this year (as claimed by the newspaper, after beating a boss).
:* ''Syphon Filter 3'': Three levels take place in and around Kabul, Afghanistan during this year amidst the Soviet occupation, with Gabe Logan and Lian Xing pitted against Afghan rebels and Soviet troops.

Environmental change

* Varroa destructor, an invasive parasite, is found in the U.S.

Mathematical interest

*This was the last year until 2013 with four distinct digits.

Source: Wikipedia