1984 1985 1986 – 1987 – 1988 1989 1990
| Decades: |
1950s 1960s 1970s – 1980s – 1990s 2000s 2010s
| Centuries: |
19th century – 20th century – 21st century
Table of contents
- Varroa destructor, an invasive parasite is found in the U.S.
- October 15 – Hurricane force winds cause extensive damage in southern England.
- January 1 – Frobisher Bay, Northwest Territories, changes its name to Iqaluit. In 1999, it will become the capital of Nunavut.
- 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
- January 31 – The last Ohrbach's department store closes in New York City after 64 years of operation.
- 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.
- The Federal Communications Commission rescinds the Fairness Doctrine which had required radio and television stations to "fairly" present controversial issues
- July 11 – Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke's Goverment is re-elected for a 3rd term
- August 9- 9 people die + 11 injured when 19 year old Julian Knight goes on shooting rampage in Melbourne(Hoddle St Massacre)
- 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 plane's 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
- 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
- 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 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 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 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
- December 1 – Queensland: Following a week of turmoil from his National Party of Australia collegues, Joh Bjelke-Petersen resigns as Premier of Queensland. He is replaced by Mike Ahern, the only premier never to contest an election as premier.
- Monday, December 7, 1987 – Delaware celebrates its bicentennial statehood.
- December 8 – first Intifada begins
- 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.
- Saturday, December 12, 1987 – Pennsylvania celebrates its bicentennial statehood.
- Friday, December 18, 1987 – New Jersey celebrates its bicentennial statehood.
- Friday, December 18, 1987 – programming language Perl 1.0 released
- 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
- February 6 – Black Widow
- March 6 – Lethal Weapon starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover
- May 16 – Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold
- May 20 – Beverly Hills Cop II starring Eddie Murphy
- June 3 – The Untouchables
- June 12 – Predator starring Arnold Schwarzenegger
- June 26 – Dragnet
- July 17 – Jaws 4: The Revenge
- November 13 – The Running Man starring Arnold Schwarzenegger
- 1987 in literature
- 1987 in music
- 1987 in rail transport
- 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 (the chime served as a signal to the affiliates to start airing the network feed in sync with everyone else).
- April 5 – Married... with Children premieres on the FOX television network.
- September 28 – Star Trek: The Next Generation premieres on syndicated television with the first part of a two-part episode "Encounter at Farpoint"
- March 9
- April 9 – Jesse McCartney, actor and singer
- April 10 – Hayley Westenra, singer
- 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 movies)
- September 28 – Hilary Duff, actress, singer (Lizzie McGuire, Agent Cody Banks)
- December 7 – Aaron Carter, singer
- December 12 – Kate Todd, actress (Radio Free Roscoe)
- January 15 – Ray Bolger, actor, singer, dancer (b. 1904)
- January 21 – Charles Goodell, American politician (b. 1926)
- February 2 – Alistair MacLean, British thriller writer (heart attack; b. 1922)
- February 4 – Liberace, American pianist (b. 1919)
- February 22 – Andy Warhol, American artist, director, writer (b. 1928)
- March 2 – Randolph Scott, actor (b. 1898)
- March 3 – Danny Kaye, actor, American singer, comedian (b. 1918)
- March 19 – Louis-Victor de Broglie, French physicist and winner 1929 of the Nobel Prize in Physics (b. 1892)
- March 21
- March 26 – Eugen Jochum, German conductor (b. 1902)
- March 28 – Maria von Trapp, Austrian singer (b. 1905)
- April 2 – Buddy Rich, jazz drummer (b. 1917)
- April 3 – Tom Sestak, American football player (b. 1936)
- April 4 – C. L. Moore, science fiction writer (b. 1911)
- April 28 – Ben Linder, American engineer murdered in Nicaragua (b. 1959)
- May 3 – Dalida, French singer (b. 1933)
- May 4 – Paul Butterfield, blues musician (b. 1942)
- May 6 – William J. Casey, controversial director of the CIA (b. 1913)
- May 14 – Rita Hayworth, actress (b. 1918)
- May 19 – James Tiptree, Jr, science fiction author (b. 1915)
- June 2 – Andres Segovia, Spanish guitarist (b. 1893)
- June 6
- June 10 – Elizabeth Hartman, American actress, from suicide (b. 1943)
- June 22 – Fred Astaire, American actor, dancer (b. 1899)
- July 10 – John Hammond, record producer (b. 1910)
- August 17 – Rudolf Hess, Hitler's second-in-command, from suicide (though some contend murder) (b. 1894)
- September 4 – Bill Bowes, champion Yorkshire and England bowler (b. 1908)
- September 11 – Lorne Greene, Canadian actor (b. 1915)
- September 23 – Bob Fosse, theater choreographer and director (b. 1927)
- October 3
- October 19 – Jacqueline du Pré, English cellist (b. 1945)
- October 20 – Andrey Nikolaevich Kolmogorov, Russian mathematician (b. 1903)
- October 28 – André Masson, French artist (b. 1896)
- October 29 – Woody Herman, American jazz musician (b. 1913)
- October 31 – Joseph Campbell, author and expert on mythology (b. 1904)
- December 2 – Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich, Soviet physicist (b. 1914)
- December 10 – Jascha Heifetz, Lithuanian violinist (b. 1901)
- Physics – J. Georg Bednorz, K. Alexander Müller
- Chemistry Donald J Cram, Jean-Marie Lehn, Charles J. Pedersen
- Medicine – Susumu Tonegawa
- Literature – Joseph Brodsky
- Peace- Oscar Arias Sanchez