1987 in the United States
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|1987 in the United States|
|Years:||1984 1985 1986 – 1987 – 1988 1989 1990|
50 stars (1960–present)
Events from the year 1987 in the United States.
- President: Ronald Reagan (Republican)
- Vice President: George H. W. Bush (Republican)
- Chief Justice: William Rehnquist
- Speaker of the House of Representatives: Tip O'Neill (D-Massachusetts) (until January 3), Jim Wright (D-Texas) (starting January 6)
- Senate Majority Leader: Bob Dole (R-Kansas) (until January 3), Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia) (starting January 3)
- Congress: 99th (until January 3), 100th (starting January 3)
- January 3 – Aretha Franklin becomes the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- January 4 – 1987 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 13 – New York mafiosi Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno and Carmine Peruccia are sentenced to 100 years in prison for racketeering.
- January 22 – Pennsylvania 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 25 – Super Bowl XXI: The New York Giants defeat the Denver Broncos 39-20
- January 29 – William 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 9 – Brownsville, Texas is deluged with 7 inches (177.80 mm) 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 11 – The United States military detonates an atomic weapon at the Nevada Test Site.
- February 26 – Iran-Contra affair: The Tower Commission rebukes U.S. President Ronald Reagan for not controlling his National Security Council 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 4 – Jonathan Pollard is sentenced to life in prison on one count of espionage.
- March 18 – Woodstock 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 29 – World Wrestling Entertainment presented WrestleMania III in the Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit, Michigan. This event was attended by over 90,000 and set an all-time indoor attendance record that stands to this day.
- April 7 – Harold Washington is re-elected Mayor of Chicago.
- 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 miles per hour (342.5 km/h)
- 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 17 – U.S.S. Stark was hit by two Iraqi owned Exocet AM39 air-to-surface missiles killing 37 sailors.
- May 21 – Andrew 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.
- 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 19 – Teddy 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 19 – Edwards 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 28 – An accidental explosion at Hohenfels Training Area in West Germany kills 3 U.S. troopers.
- 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 17 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above the 2,500 mark for the first time, at 2,510.04.
- 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 19 – ABC News' chief Middle East correspondent Charles Glass escapes his Hezbollah kidnappers in Beirut, Lebanon, after 62 days in captivity.
- August 31 – Michael Jackson releases his third solo album Bad.
- September 17 – At a small rally in Harlem, televangelist Pat Robertson announces his candidacy for the 1988 Republican presidential nomination.
- September 25, 1987 – Varroa destructor, an invasive parasite, is found for the first time in the U.S.
- 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 14–16 – 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 19 – Black Monday: Stock market levels fall sharply on Wall Street and around the world.
- October 19 – U.S. warships destroy two Iranian oil platforms in the Persian Gulf
- 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 25 – 1987 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; at the time it is the second largest decrease ever (trailing Black Monday).
- November 6 – Florida rapist Tommy Lee Andrews is the first person to be convicted as a result of DNA fingerprinting: he is sentenced to 22 years in prison.
- November 17 – The Gulf of Alaska Tsunami hits.
- November 18 – Iran-Contra affair: U.S. Senate and House panels release reports charging President Ronald Reagan with 'ultimate responsibility' for the affair.
- November 23 – Frank Carlucci is sworn in as the new Secretary of Defense, succeeding Caspar Weinberger.
- December 1 – NASA announces the names of four 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 2 – Hustler Magazine v. Falwell is argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.
- December 7 – Pacific 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 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 9 – Microsoft releases Windows 2.0.
- December 10 – A squirrel closes down the Nasdaq Stock Exchange when it burrows through a telephone line.
- December 22- December 28 – Ronald Gene Simmons goes on a 6 day killing spree in Russellville, Arkansas, killing his wife, children, and grandchildren as they arrived to celebrate the holidays at his home. On the 28th he went on a shooting spree, killing an additional woman and wounding 5 others before surrendering to police. The final death toll was 16. He was tried and eventually executed.
- December 29 – Prozac makes its debut in the United States.
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- February 14 – Joe Pichler, actor and missing in 2006
- November 3 – Elizabeth Smart, kidnapped victim, activist and contributor for ABC News
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- October 12 – Alf Landon, politician
- December 1 – James Baldwin, author and civil rights activist (born 1924)
- Media related to 1987 in the United States at Wikimedia Commons