) was a common year starting on Thursday
(link displays 1987 Gregorian calendar
Events of 1987
- 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.
- June 2 - Andrés Segovia died in Madrid, Spain at the age of 94.
- 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.
- June 29 - Roh Tae-Woo, president of South Korea make a speech promising a wide program of reforms of Korea. It was result of 6.10 Democratization Movement.
- 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 21 - Guns 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
The following are references to year 1987 in fiction:
- *1987 (What the Fuck Is Going On?), debut album by The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, later known as The KLF.
- * 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
- * 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.
- * 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.
- January 2 - Loui Batley, British actress
- January 2 - Lauren Storm, American actress
- January 5 - Kristin Cavallari, American reality television star
- January 10 - César Cielo, Brazilian swimmer
- January 11 - David Allen, American actor/comedian/writer
- January 13 - Marc Staal, Canadian ice hockey player
- January 15 - Jake Epstein, Canadian actor
- January 15 - Michael Seater, Canadian actor
- January 15 - Kelly Kelly American professional wrestler
- January 16 - Kaavya Viswanathan, Indian-American author
- January 27 - Hannah Teter, American professional snowboarder
- January 27 - Zuleidy Spanish adult pornographic actress
- January 28 - Chelsea Brummet, American actress
- January 30 - Lance Franklin, Australian rules footballer
- February 2 - Martin Spanjers, American actor
- February 5 - David Cameron, Australian Soccer Player
- February 16 - Luc Bourdon, Canadian ice hockey defenceman (d. 2008)
- February 16 - Theresa Goh, Singaporean Paralympic swimmer
- February 21 - Ellen Page, Canadian actress
- February 24 - Daniel Reilly, British entrepreneur
- February 24 - Mayuko Iwasa, Japanese entertainer and model
- February 26 - Julia Bond, American pornographic actress
- March 6 - Hannah Taylor-Gordon, British actress
- March 7 - Hatem Ben Arfa, French footballer
- March 9 - Bow Wow, American rapper
- March 13 - Marco Andretti, IRL driver
- March 14 - Aravane Rezaï, Iranian-French tennis player
- March 16 - Tiiu Kuik, Estonian model
- March 20 - Emilia Attias, Argentina model
- March 25 - Jason Castro, American singer
- March 26 - Yui, Japanese musician and singer
- March 27 - Zaraah Abrahams, British actress
- April 4 - Sarah Gadon, Canadian actress
- April 6 - Bartolomej Kuru, Austrian footballer
- April 8 - Royston Drenthe, Real Madrid footballer
- April 9 - Jesse McCartney, American singer and actor
- April 10 - Hayley Westenra, New Zealand soprano
- April 11 - Joss Stone, English musician
- April 12 - Brendon Urie, American musician
- April 13 - Jiafeng Chen, Chinese violinist
- April 16 - Aaron Lennon, English footballer
- April 19 - Courtland Mead, American actor
- April 19 - Joe Hart, English under 21 Footballer
- April 19 - Maria Sharapova, Russian tennis player
- April 22 - Mikel John Obi, Nigerian footballer
- April 23 - Emily Fox, American cupstacking champion
- April 26 - Jessica Rose, American internet celebrity and actress
- April 27 - William Moseley, English actor
- April 27 - Emma Taylor-Isherwood, Canadian actress
- April 29 - Joanna Maranhão, Brazilian swimmer
- May 1 - Shahar Pe'er, Israeli tennis player
- May 2 - Nana Kitade, Japanese singer
- May 4 - Cesc Fàbregas, Spanish football player
- May 5 - Samantha Cope, American actress
- May 5 - Ian Michael Smith, American actor
- May 6 - Moon Geun Young, Korean actress
- May 7 - Asami Konno, Japanese singer
- May 10 - Eileen April Boylan, American actress
- May 12 - Darren Randolph, Irish football goalkeeper
- May 14 - Francois Steyn, South African rugby player
- May 15 - Andrew Murray, Scottish tennis player
- May 15 - Jennylyn Mercado, Filipina actress and singer
- May 20 - Julian Wright, American basketball player
- May 21 - Ashlie Brillault, American actress
- May 22 - Novak Đoković, Serbian tennis player
- May 24 - Damir Kedzo, Croatian Singer
- May 29 - Noah Reid, Canadian actor
- May 30 - Brianna Taylor American Singer, Reality contestant
- June 3 - Lalaine, American actress and singer
- June 3 - Masami Nagasawa, Japanese actress
- June 5- Charlie Clements,English Actor
- June 6 - Kyle Falconer, Scottish musician
- June 9 - Rheagan Wallace, American actress
- June 10 - Amobi Okoye, Nigerian-born American football player
- June 14 - Andrew Cogliano, Canadian hockey player
- June 17 - Nozomi Tsuji, Japanese singer
- June 19 - Rashard Mendenhall, American football player
- June 21 - Dale Thomas, Australian rules footballer
- June 21 - Kim Ryeowook, Korean singer, member of Super Junior
- June 22 - Joseph Dempsie, British actor
- June 24 - Lionel Messi, Argentine soccer player
- June 25 - Hayami Kishimoto, Japanese singer
- June 26 - Samir Nasri, French footballer
- June 29 - Yasuka Saitou, Japanese actor
- July 1 - Yoga Lin, Taiwanese singer
- July 3 - Chris Hunter, American actor
- July 6 - Matt O'Leary, American actor
- July 6 - Kate Nash, British singer/songwriter
- July 11 - Shigeaki Kato, Japanese singer (member of NEWS)
- July 24 - Mara Wilson, American actress
- July 25 - Nathan Lawrence, American actor
- July 25 - Michael Welch, American actor
- July 26 - Miriam McDonald, Canadian actress
- July 29 - Génesis Rodríguez, American actress
- August 4 - Philip Younghusband, British-Filipino footballer
- August 5 - Stephanie Edwards, American singer
- August 5 - Xenia Tchoumitcheva, Swiss model
- August 5 - Genelia D'Souza, an Indian actress
- August 6 - Aditya Narayan, Bollywood actor and singer
- August 6- Matt Di Angelo English actor
- August 7 - Sidney Crosby, Canadian hockey player
- August 8 - Katie Leung, Scottish actress
- August 10- Jim Bakkum, Dutch singer and actor
- August 14 - Tim Tebow, American football quarterback
- August 18 - Mika Boorem, American actress
- August 19 - Marlon Knauer, German singer
- August 20 - Cătălina Ponor, Romanian gymnast
- August 21 - Kim Kibum, Korean singer, member of Super Junior
- August 25 - Liu Yifei, Chinese actress
- August 25 - Blake Lively, American actress
- August 25 - Stacey Farber, Canadian actress
- August 25 - Justin Upton, professional baseball player
- August 27 - Darren McFadden, American football player
- August 29 - Risa Shimamoto, Japanese gravure idol
- September 2 - Spencer Smith, American musician
- September 3 - Chris Fountain, British actor
- September 5 - Pierre Rainier Stefano Casiraghi, Prince of Monaco
- September 6 - Ramiele Malubay, American singer
- September 7 - Evan Rachel Wood, American actress and singer
- September 9 - Clayton Snyder, American actor
- September 11 - Tyler Hoechlin, American actor
- September 13 - Simon Walton, English footballer
- September 16 - Anthony Padilla, American comedian and co-founder of Smosh
- September 19 - Danielle Panabaker, American actress
- September 21 - Twins Ashley Paris and Courtney Paris, American basketball players
- September 22 - Tom Felton, English actor
- September 24 - Chris Holder, Speedway Rider
- September 24 - Matthew Connolly, English footballer
- september 26 - Whitney Thompson, Winner of America's Next Top Model, Cycle 10
- September 28 - Hilary Duff, American actress and singer
- October 3 - Zuleyka Rivera, Miss Universe 2006
- October 3 - Kaci, American singer and actress
- October 5 - Brandan Wright, American basketball player
- October 8 - Aya Hirano, Japanese voice actress and singer
- October 8 - Dustin Breeding, American singer
- October 10 - Stefan Bailey, English footballer
- October 12 - Noemi Batki, Italian diver
- October 17 - Bea Alonzo, Filipina actress
- October 18 - Zac Efron, American actor
- October 18 - Freja Beha Erichsen, Danish model
- October 27 - Yi Jianlian, Chinese basketball player (year of birth disputed)
- October 29 - Makoto Ogawa, Japanese singer
- November 3 - Felix Schütz, German ice hockey player
- November 3 - Gemma Ward, Australian model
- November 5 - Kevin Jonas, American singer/songwriter
- November 6 - Ana Ivanović, Serbian tennis player
- November 11 - Chanelle Hayes, 2007 UK Big Brother contestant
- November 11 - Yuya Tegoshi. Japanese singer (member of NEWS and Tegomass)
- November 24 - Megan Mullins, American singer
- November 30 - Christel Khalil, American actress
- November 30 - Dougie Poynter, English musician (McFly)
- November 30 - Ian Hecox, American comedian and co-founder of Smosh
- December 2 - Teairra Marí, American singer
- December 3 - Alicia Sacramone, American gymnast
- December 3 - Michael Angarano, American actor
- December 4 - Orlando Brown, American actor, singer, and comedian
- December 6 - Jack DeSena, American actor
- December 7 - Aaron Carter, American singer and actor
- December 10 - Gonzalo Higuain, Real Madrid footballer
- December 11 - Natalia Gordienko, Moldovan popstar
- December 12 - Kate Todd, Canadian actress and singer
- December 14 - Alex Gaskarth, American musician
- December 16 - Hallee Hirsh, American actress
- December 18 - Miki Ando, Japanese figure skater
- December 18 - Ayaka, Japanese singer
- December 18 - Fernando Jara, Panamanian-born American jockey
- December 19 - Aaron Renfree, British singer
- December 21 - Edward Speleers, British actor
- December 21 - Valerie Concepcion, Filipino Actress
- December 26 - Adam Walker, British flautist
- December 28 - Taylor Ball, American actor
- December 28 - Thomas Dekker, American actor
- December 28 - Hannah Tointon, British actress
- March 2 - Randolph Scott, American actor (b. 1898)
- March 3 - Danny Kaye, American singer, actor, and comedian (b. 1918)
- March 11 - Woody Hayes, football coach at Ohio State (b. 1913)
- March 13 - Gerald Moore, English pianist (b. 1899)
- March 19 - Louis-Victor de Broglie, French physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1892)
- March 21 - Dean Paul Martin, American actor (b. 1951)
- March 21 - Robert Preston, American actor (b. 1918)
- March 26 - Eugen Jochum, German conductor (b. 1902)
- March 28 - Maria von Trapp, Austrian singer (b. 1905)
- March 28 - Patrick Troughton, British actor (b. 1920)
- April 2 - Buddy Rich, American jazz drummer (b. 1917)
- April 2 - Trevor Hockey, Welsh footballer (b. 1943)
- April 3 - Tom Sestak, American football player (b. 1936)
- April 4 - C. L. Moore, American writer (b. 1911)
- April 15 - Masatoshi Nakayama, Japanese Karate Master (b. 1913)
- April 17 - Carlton Barrett, Jamaican reggae drummer (b. 1950)
- April 17 - Dick Shawn, American actor (b. 1924)
- April 19 - Milt Kahl, Animator for the Disney Studio (b. 1909)
- April 19 - Hugh Brannum,American actor and radio (b. 1910)
- April 26 - John Ernest Silkin, British politician (b. 1923)
- April 28 - Ben Linder, American engineer (murdered) (b. 1959)
- May 3 - Dalida, French singer (b. 1933)
- May 4 - Paul Butterfield, American musician (b. 1942); Cathryn Damon, American actress (b. 1930)
- May 6 - William J. Casey, American Central Intelligence Agency director (b. 1913)
- May 14 - Rita Hayworth, American actress (b. 1918)
- May 17 - Gunnar Myrdal, Swedish economist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1898)
- May 19 - James Tiptree, Jr, American author (b. 1915)
- May 27 - John Howard Northrop, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1891)
- September 3 - Rusty Wescoatt, American actor (b. 1911)
- September 4 - Bill Bowes, British cricketer (b. 1908)
- September 11 - Lorne Greene, Canadian actor (b. 1915)
- September 11 - Peter Tosh, Jamaican singer and musician (b. 1944)
- September 16 - Howard Moss, American poet, dramatist, and critic (b. 1922)
- September 17 - Harry Locke, British character actor (b. 1913)
- September 21 - Jaco Pastorius, American bassist (b. 1951)
- September 23 - Bob Fosse, American theater choreographer and director (b. 1927)
- September 25 - Mary Astor, Academy Award-winning American actress (b. 1906)
- September 25 - Harry Holtzman, American abstract artist (b. 1912)
- September 29 - Henry Ford II, president of Ford Motor Company (b. 1917)
- October 2 - Peter Medawar, Brazilian-born scientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1915)
- October 3 - Jean Anouilh, French dramatist (b. 1910)
- October 3 - Kalervo Palsa, Finnish artist (b. 1947)
- October 9 - William Parry Murphy, American physician, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1892)
- October 13 - Walter Brattain, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1902)
- October 19 - Jacqueline du Pré, British cellist (b. 1945)
- October 20 - Andrey Nikolaevich Kolmogorov, Russian mathematician (b. 1903)
- October 22 - Lino Ventura, Italian actor (b. 1919)
- October 28 - André Masson, French artist (b. 1896)
- October 29 - Woody Herman, American jazz musician (b. 1913)
- October 31 - Joseph Campbell, American author on mythology (b. 1904)
Right Livelihood Award
1987 was the last year until 2013
, that there were no 'doubles' of numbers in the year. (Ex. 1989 has two 9's; 1991 has two 9's and two 1's; 2004 had two 0's; and so on.)