1987 events in history

Jan 1 A value added tax is introduced in Greece for the first time
Jan 4 The 1987 Maryland train collision: An Amtrak train en route to Boston, Massachusetts from Washington, D.C., collides with Conrail engines in Chase, Maryland, killing 16 people
Jan 20 Church of England envoy Terry Waite is kidnapped in Lebanon
Jan 22 Pennsylvania politician R. Budd Dwyer shoots and kills himself during a televised press conference, leading to debates on boundaries in journalism
Jan 22 Philippine security forces open fire on a crowd of 10,000–15,000 demonstrators at Malacañan Palace, Manila, killing 13
Feb 2 After the 1986 People Power Revolution, the Philippines enacts a new constitution
Feb 6 Justice Mary Gaudron is appointed to the High Court of Australia, the first woman to be appointed
Feb 16 The trial of John Demjanjuk, accused of being a Nazi guard dubbed "Ivan the Terrible" in Treblinka extermination camp, starts in Jerusalem
Feb 20 Unabomber: In Salt Lake City, a bomb explodes in a computer store
Feb 23 Supernova 1987a is seen in the Large Magellanic Cloud
Feb 25 Southern Methodist University's football program is the first college football program to receive the Death Penalty by the NCAA's Committee on Infractions. It was revealed that athletic officials and school administrators had knowledge of a "slush fund" used to make illegal payments to the school's football players as far back as 1981
Feb 26 Iran–Contra affair: The Tower Commission rebukes President Ronald Reagan for not controlling his national security staff
Mar 6 The British ferry MS Herald of Free Enterprise capsizes in about 90 seconds killing 193
Mar 19 Televangelist Jim Bakker resigns as head of the PTL Club due to a brewing sex scandal; he hands over control to Jerry Falwell
Mar 20 The Food and Drug Administration approves the anti-AIDS drug, AZT
Apr 8 Los Angeles Dodgers executive Al Campanis resigns amid controversy over racially charged remarks he had made while on Nightline
Apr 11 The London Agreement is secretly signed between Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Shimon Peres and King Hussein of Jordan
Apr 13 Portugal and the People's Republic of China sign an agreement in which Macau would be returned to China in 1999
Apr 19 The Simpsons premieres as a short cartoon on The Tracey Ullman Show
Apr 21 The Tamil Tigers are blamed for a car bomb that detonates in the Sri Lankan capital city of Colombo, killing 106 people
Apr 27 The U.S. Department of Justice bars Austrian President Kurt Waldheim from entering the United States, saying he had aided in the deportation and execution of thousands of Jews and others as a German Army officer during World War II
Apr 28 American engineer Ben Linder is killed in an ambush by U.S.-funded Contras in northern Nicaragua
May 1 Pope John Paul II beatifies Edith Stein, a Jewish-born Carmelite nun who was gassed in the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz
May 3 A crash by Bobby Allison at the Talladega Superspeedway, Alabama fencing at the start-finish line would lead NASCAR to develop the restrictor plate for the following season both at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega
May 5 Iran–Contra affair: start of Congressional televised hearings in the United States of America
May 8 The Loughgall Ambush: The SAS kills eight Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteers and a civilian during an ambush in Loughgall, Northern Ireland
May 9 An LOT Polish Airlines Ilyushin IL-62M, Tadeusz Kościuszko (SP-LBG), crashes after takeoff in Warsaw, Poland, killing all 183 people on board
May 11 Klaus Barbie goes on trial in Lyon for war crimes committed during World War II
May 11 In Baltimore, Maryland, the first heart–lung transplant takes place. The surgery is performed by Dr. Bruce Reitz of the Stanford University School of Medicine
May 15 The Soviet Union launches the Polyus prototype orbital weapons platform. It fails to reach orbit
May 17 An Iraqi Dassault Mirage F1 fighter jet fires two missiles into the U.S. Navy warship USS Stark, killing 37 and injuring 21 of her crew
May 22 Hashimpura massacre in Meerut, India
May 22 First ever Rugby World Cup kicks off with New Zealand playing Italy at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand
May 28 19-year-old West German pilot Mathias Rust evades Soviet Union air defenses and lands a private plane in the Red Square in Moscow, Russia. He is immediately detained and will not be released until August 3, 1988
Jun 8 New Zealand's Labour government establishes a national nuclear-free zone under the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act 1987
Jun 11 Diane Abbott, Paul Boateng and Bernie Grant are elected as the first black Parliamentarians in Great Britain
Jun 12 Cold War: At the Brandenburg Gate U.S. President Ronald Reagan publicly challenges Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall
Jun 12 The Central African Republic's former Emperor Jean-Bédel Bokassa is sentenced to death for crimes he had committed during his 13-year rule
Jun 17 With the death of the last individual of the species, the Dusky Seaside Sparrow becomes extinct
Jun 28 For the first time in military history, a civilian population is targeted for chemical attack when Iraqi warplanes bombed the Iranian town of Sardasht
Jul 1 The American radio station WFAN in New York, New York is launched as the world's first all-sports radio station
Jul 4 In France, former Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie (aka the "Butcher of Lyon") is convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to life imprisonment
Jul 5 The LTTE uses suicide attacks on the Sri Lankan Army for the first time. The Black Tigers were born and, in the following years, continued to kill with the tactic
Jul 14 Montreal, Canada, is hit by a series of thunderstorms causing the Montreal Flood of 1987
Jul 27 RMS Titanic Inc. begins the first expedited salvage of wreckage of the RMS Titanic
Jul 29 Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi and President of Sri Lanka J. R. Jayewardene sign the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord on ethnic issues
Jul 29 British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President of France François Mitterrand sign the agreement to build a tunnel under the English Channel (Eurotunnel)
Aug 4 The Federal Communications Commission rescinds the Fairness Doctrine which had required radio and television stations to present controversial issues "fairly"
Aug 7 Lynne Cox becomes first person to swim from the United States to the Soviet Union, crossing from Little Diomede Island in Alaska to Big Diomede in the Soviet Union
Aug 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