President: Grover Cleveland (D-New York)
Vice President: vacant
Chief Justice: Morrison Waite (Ohio)
Speaker of the House of Representatives: John G. Carlisle (D-Kentucky)
Congress: 49th (until March 4), 50th (starting March 4)
January 20 – The United States Senate allows the Navy to lease Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as a naval base.
January 28 – In a snowstorm at Fort Keogh, Montana, the largest snowflakes on record are reported. They are 15 inches (38 cm) wide and 8 inches (20 cm) thick.
February 2 – In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the first Groundhog Day is observed.
February 4 – The Interstate Commerce Act, passed by Congress, is signed into law, with the intention of regulating the railroad industry.
February – The Atlanta Cyclorama is first displayed in Detroit as "Logan's Great Battle".
March 3 – Anne Sullivan begins teaching Helen Keller.
March 7 – North Carolina State University is established as North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts.
March 19 – Cogswell College is established as a high school by Dr. Henry D. Cogswell in San Francisco, the first technical training institution in the West (the school opens in 1888).
April 4 – Argonia, Kansas elects Susanna M. Salter as the first female mayor in the U.S.
May 14 – The cornerstone of the new Stanford University, in northern California, is laid (the college opens in 1891).
June 28 – Minot, North Dakota is incorporated as a city.
August – The U.S. National Institutes of Health is founded at the Marine Hospital, Staten Island, New York, as the Laboratory of Hygiene.
Teachers College, later part of Columbia University, is founded by Grace Hoadley Dodge as the New York School for the Training of Teachers; Nicholas Murray Butler is its first president.
Gilded Age (1869–c. 1896)
January 22 – David W. Stewart, U.S. Senator from Iowa from 1926 to 1927 (died 1974)
February 6 – Ernest Gruening, U.S. Senator from Alaska from 1959 to 1969 (died 1974)
April 9 – Florence Price, African American classical composer (died 1953)
September 8 – Jacob L. Devers, U.S. Army general (died 1979)
November 15 – Georgia O'Keeffe, painter (died 1986)
December 19 – George R. Swift, U.S. Senator from Alabama in 1946 (died 1972)
March 8 – Henry Ward Beecher, clergyman and reformer (born 1813)
March 26 – Walt Whitman, poet, essayist and journalist (born 1819)
May 19 – Charles E. Stuart, U.S. Senator from Michigan from 1853 to 1859 (born 1810)
June 4 – William A. Wheeler, 19th Vice President of the United States from 1877 to 1881 (born 1819)
June 25 – James Speed, U.S. Attorney General from 1864 to 1866 under Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson (born 1812)
July 18 – Robert M. T. Hunter, Virginian lawyer, politician, 14th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, 2nd Confederate States Secretary of State (born 1809)
August 14 – Aaron A. Sargent, U.S. Senator from California from 1873 to 1879 (born 1827)
November 8 – Doc Holliday, gunfighter and gambler (born 1851)
1887 in the United States Wikipedia
Events from the year 1887 in the United States.